The British Airways Fleet In 2021

British Airways operates a fleet of 277 aircraft, ranging from Airbus A319 to the Boeing 777. After a long and challenging year, there have been several changes to the flag carrier’s fleet, including some notable retirements. Here’s a look at British Airways’ fleet in 2021.

British Airways 777-300ER
While over 100 BA aircraft sit idle due to the downturn, more and more are coming back to service recently. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The British Airways fleet at a glance

British Airways operates a diverse mix of narrowbodies and widebodies, serving routes across its sprawling network. When it comes to single-aisle jets, the carrier solely relies on Airbus for its needs. Here’s the fleet breakdown:

  • 34 A319s
  • 67 A320-200s
  • 14 A320neos
  • 18 A321-20s
  • 10 A321neos
British Airways, Bag Drop, Heathrow Express
Just over half of BA’s fleet consists of narrowbodies, which operate European and medium-haul routes. Photo: British Airways

Based out of London Heathrow, British Airways operates a massive long-haul network. These routes vary by demand, requiring the airline to fly several types of widebodies, from the behemoth A380 and the smaller 787-8. Here’s a look at the twin-aisle (and deck) fleet:

  • 8 A350-1000s
  • 12 A380-800s
  • 43 777-200ERs
  • 16 777-300ERs
  • 2 787-10s
  • 18 787-9s
  • 12 787-8s
British Airways, VeriFLY, Health Passport
As a hub and a major destination airline, British Airways operates almost every type of widebody in its fleet. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Gone

The pandemic has been tough on BA, with the carrier forced to make many premature retirements. The most emotional goodbye was undoubtedly for the 747 fleet, which had a half-century-long history in the carrier’s fleet. At the time of the decision, the carrier operated 31 of these jets, all of the -400 variant, but it has historically flown over 100 747s.

British Airways Boeing 747 Los Angeles
British Airways waved goodbye to the 747 four years in advance due to the pandemic. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

However, while the Queen of the Skies took most of the limelight, she was far from the only plane to exit BA’s fleet. Other retirements include the pair of A318s ‘Baby Buses’ which flew the prestigious BA1 service from London City Airport to New York JFK. Three A319s and the remaining 777-200 classics also left the fleet.

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Future

While 2020 may have been a year of sadness for those who enjoy British Airways’ classic fleet, there is a lot more coming soon. The airline currently has 49 aircraft on order, which will see it become a far more efficient and modern airline. This includes eight new A320neos and three A321neos for the carrier’s narrowbody fleet.

In widebodies, British Airways will take on 10 new A350-1000s and 10 787-10s in the coming years. The next new exciting aircraft type will be the Boeing 777-9 (777X), of which BA currently has 18 on order.

British Airways Boeing 787-10 parked in desert
 Currently, some British Airways 787-10s are standing in the Mojave Desert due to Boeing’s delivery pause and the impact of the pandemic. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

As the aviation industry begins the long road toward a full recovery, British Airways remains flexible with its fleet requirements. With short-haul routes likely to recover first, the eyes will be on narrowbodies at first. However, with key international travel also opening up in recent days, expect to see many more widebodies in the sky in the coming months!

What do you think about British Airways’ fleet layout? Let us know in the comments!

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