The Story Of British Airways’ Boeing 767 Fleet

British Airways is a fascinating airline with decades of rich history. Part of its story is that of its fleet, which has seen dozens of aircraft types come and go over the years. One of these is the Boeing 767, which spent nearly three decades at the airline.

British Airways Boeing 767 Getty
BA sometimes used the 767 to offer increased capacity on busier European routes. Photo: Getty Images

When did BA receive its 767s?

According to Planespotters.net, British Airways operated a total of 31 Boeing 767s between 1990 and 2018. Of these, the vast majority (28 aircraft) were 767-300ERs that arrived brand-new at the Heathrow-based UK flag carrier between 1990 and 1998. Every year during this period apart from 1995 saw at least one 767 delivery. 1990 had the most, with nine aircraft arriving.

British Airways’ remaining three 767s belonged to the shorter-fuselage 767-200ER variant. Unlike its 28 examples of the longer 767-300ER, these aircraft did not arrive at the airline brand-new. Instead, BA operated them on three-year lease deals from USAir between 1993 and 1996. Interestingly, these planes retained their US registrations while at BA.

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British Airways Boeing 767
To begin with, BA’s 767s wore the airline’s iconic ‘Landor’ livery. Photo: Rosedale7175 via Flickr

Which examples went on to fly elsewhere?

A handful of the 767s operated by British Airways also had second leases of life at other carriers. For example, when G-BNWI left BA’s fleet in August 2016 after 26 years of service, it joined French carrier OpenSkies. It flew for the airline under the registration F-HILU for two years, before being withdrawn from use in September 2018. It then entered storage in St Athan, Wales, before finally being broken up there in January 2019.

Seven ex-BA 767s also went on to fly for one of its oneworld partners, namely Australian flag carrier Qantas. These were the first 767s to leave British Airways’ fleet, departing for Australia between June and November 2000.

Qantas operated several ex-BA 767s after the turn of the century. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia

While they have all since moved on from the Australian flag carrier, four remain active at Eastern Airlines. Two have been scrapped, and the other has been in storage in Sialkot, Pakistan, since August 2017. This aircraft last flew for Jet Asia Airways as HS-JAS.

The final few

However, most of British Airways’ Boeing 767s spent their entire working lives at the airline. This meant that, having completed their duty with the carrier, storage and scrapping awaited. 2018 was BA’s last year of 767 operations, by which time just seven examples remained in its fleet. The type had served the airline well, on long-haul services as well as European routes where extra capacity was required, such as Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

British Airways Boeing 767
BA’s final 767 flight took it from Larnaca to London. Photo: Aeroprints.com via Wikimedia Commons

However, all aircraft, even the most versatile, have to step aside at some point. With nearly three decades of service at BA, the 767’s time was up. The airline has since modernized its mid-size widebody fleet with the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner.’

The curtain finally came down on British Airways’ Boeing 767 fleet in November 2018. The last service that the airline operated with the type was a round trip from London Heathrow to Larnaca, Cyprus and back. It is sad to see the type move on, but the airline can look back on nearly thirty years of service with great pride. Simultaneously, it can relish the prospect of its fleet having been modernized by the likes of the 787.

Did you ever fly on one of British Airways’ Boeing 767s? If so, when did you do so, and where did your journey on the type take you? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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