Where Did British Airways Fly The Boeing 767?

British Airways retired the last of its Boeing B767-300ERs on November 25th, 2018, following a rotation from Heathrow to Larnaca. The carrier operated the mid-sized widebody for 28 years. Fittingly, it had some 28 B767-300ERs (code: 763), with all deliveries complete by 1998. The type’s withdrawal came days after BA’s 30th B787-8 joined the fleet.

BA B767-300ER
With multiple configurations, BA used the B767-300ER on denser short-haul routes (such as Amsterdam, where this photo was taken) and thinner long-haul destinations. Photo: Alf van Beem via Wikimedia.

Where did BA fly the B767-300ER?

If the 2004-2018 period is added up, over six in ten of BA’s B767-300ER seats from London Heathrow were deployed within Europe, partly influenced by the use of higher-capacity 767s there. Europe was all-important.

  1. Europe: 63.3% of the B767-300ER’s total Heathrow seats between 2004 and 2018
  2. North America: 15.7%
  3. Africa: 8.4%
  4. Caribbean: 5.7%
  5. Middle East: 5.6%
  6. Asia: 0.9%
  7. South America: 0.4%

The 767 was barely used to Asia or South America in this time period, which shouldn’t really come as any surprise. BA used them to Hyderabad between 2010 and 2014, while Almaty, Kazakstan, saw them from 2013 to 2015. Almaty was previously served by British Mediterranean (BMED). To South America, Bogota and Caracas were served by the 767 until 2004.

BA 767
BA’s use of the 767 revolved around Europe, including within the UK. Photo: Getty Images

While BA used the B767-300ER from Manchester to the US until 2008, the type was, of course, really all about Heathrow. Indeed, some 66 destinations saw the Boeing widebody from Heathrow between 2004-2018, based on analyzing schedules information obtained from data experts Cirium.

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A handful of destinations were served as one-offs or only on a minimal number of occasions, such as Oslo, Kyiv, Milan Linate, Vienna, Stuttgart, St Petersburg, and New York JFK. In contrast, Athens had more B767-300ER seats than any other destination and 29% more capacity than number-two, Frankfurt. The significance of Europe in BA’s top-15 763 destinations, shown below, is obvious to see.

  1. Athens
  2. Frankfurt
  3. Moscow Domodedovo
  4. Rome Fiumicino
  5. Madrid
  6. Stockholm
  7. Larnaca
  8. Edinburgh
  9. Istanbul Ataturk
  10. Tel Aviv
  11. Baltimore
  12. Nassau
  13. Nice
  14. Philadelphia
  15. Grand Cayman
BA 767
Across Europe, the B767-300ER offered high seat capacity and strong cargo capacity, the latter vital to places such as Frankfurt, Madrid, and Stockholm. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr.

The 767’s important role to Africa

In addition to higher-demanded destinations in Europe, BA also used the 767 on thinner long-haul routes, including to Africa. The role of the type to the continent isn’t often discussed, despite it having the third-highest percentage of 767 seats.

The 767 was used to a variety of African destinations that BA itself no longer serves. For example, Freetown and Monrovia, in Sierra Leone and Liberia, respectively, along with Dar Es Salaam, Entebbe, Lusaka, and Luanda.

  • Cairo (2013-2016)
  • Dar Es Salaam (2004-2013)
  • Entebbe (2004-2015)
  • Freetown (2012-2014)
  • Lagos (2005-2006)
  • Luanda (2004)
  • Lusaka (2004-2013)
  • Monrovia (2012-2014); via Freetown
  • Nairobi (2004-2008)
  • Seychelles (2004); via Nairobi
BA 767-300ER
This 763, G-BZHC, was the last to be delivered to BA. It arrived in June 1998 and remained in its fleet until late 2018. It was scrapped at St Athan in 2020. Photo: Aldo Bidini via Wikimedia.

Big demand, will they return?

Many of these African markets still have high numbers of London passengers. For example, in 2019, Tanzania’s largest city, Dar Es Salaam, had over 50,000 round-trip passengers, while it was over 85,000 for Entebbe. No wonder Uganda Airlines want to fly to London, even before fare data is examined.

It’ll be interesting to see if any of these African destinations will ever be served by BA again, perhaps with the efficient B787-8. After all, this 787 variant, which effectively replaced the 767, is typically used on thinner long-haul routes. In the USA, for example, New Orleans, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Atlanta are seeing 787-8 this summer.

The author has good memories of flying the 763, although only as far as Cyprus. Let us know your experiences by commenting.