British Airways’ First A350 Diverts To Barcelona Amid Bad Weather

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British Airways’ first Airbus A350 was diverted to Barcelona due to bad weather in Madrid. The aircraft was due to land in Madrid at around 20:05 local time, however, was delayed departing London. As such, the aircraft touched down in Barcelona at around 21:50.

BA464, Madrid Storms, British Airways, Diversion, Airbus A350, Barcelona
British Airways’ first Airbus A350 was diverted to Barcelona following storms in Madrid. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

BA’s first Airbus A350 isn’t the only aircraft diverting to Barcelona because of the weather. In fact, it is being joined by Qatar Airways flight 151. The diversion will be great practice for the Airbus A350’s crew before the aircraft is placed on long-haul flights to Dubai in a week’s time.

First diversion

Today’s diversion of G-XWBA is the first in-service diversion for British Airways’ Airbus A350. The aircraft took its first commercial flight three weeks ago today. It is currently flying between London and Madrid in order to train the aircraft’s crew on the new model.

While the focus of the Madrid training is on passenger service, today’s diversion is great practice for the aircraft’s pilots. While they will be well versed in diversions, it is the first time that they will have put it into practice with the new plane.

BA464, Madrid Storms, British Airways, Diversion, Airbus A350, Barcelona
The aircraft is flying to Madrid for staff training. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The diversion was caused by heavy storms in the Madrid region. Social media footage taken 16 miles from Madrid shows the true impact of the storm. Water was cascading down a residential street taking everything in its path with it, including cars!

The aircraft departed from London Heathrow at 17:39, just under an hour behind schedule. Usually, it would be expected to land in Madrid at around 20:00. However, today the aircraft was forced to hold around the Madrid area. It entered the hold at around 20:30 and departed for Barcelona at around 21:10.

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BA464, Madrid Storms, British Airways, Diversion, Airbus A350, Barcelona
The aircraft held outside Madrid for 40 minutes (inset) then diverted to Barcelona. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

As such, the aircraft was holding for 40 minutes. The aircraft touched down around 40 minutes later at 21:50. It is expected that the aircraft will refuel before continuing on to Madrid when the weather has passed. A British Airways spokesperson said,

“We are very sorry for the delay to our customers’ travel plans. BA464 had to divert to Barcelona due to the weather in Madrid. Our crew are looking after our customers.”

BA’s Airbus A350

British Airways’ Airbus A350 registered G-XWBA is the first of 18 of ordered by the carrier. It took its maiden flight on the 5th of August to Madrid. Additionally, BA’s second A350 is due to enter service on the 1st of October. If you want to fly on the aircraft without flying long-haul you still have two separate weeks, however, the schedule could be changed at short notice.

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Club Suite
British Airways introduced its new business suites onboard the Airbus A350. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

British Airways introduced its new Club Suite onboard the Airbus A350, seeing business class passengers treated to a fully enclosed suite. This is BA’s first business class hard product upgrade in 13 years. Why not see what Simple flying thought of the suite?

Were you onboard BA464? Are you expecting to fly to London on BA465? Let us know your experiences in the comments!

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