British Airways flight BA662 has just touched down in London, heralding in the end of an era. The end of the Boeing 767 at British Airways.
The flight was a return trip from Heathrow to Larnaca, Cyprus.
Why is British Airways retiring the Boeing 767
British Airways originally ordered 28 Boeing 767-300ERs and employed them on a variety of medium haul routes throughout the world. Routes such as London to Greece, Italy, Spain and more. The jet had a range of 3,900 nmi (7,200 km) and could carry 210 passengers in three classes.
British Airways actually two versions of the 767-300ER, one for international travel, and another one for domestic travel.
Just by looking at the seat maps you can see that the domestic version actually was entirely economy (with 290 passengers).
It would have been used for flights from London to Manchester or up to Scotland.
Since it was such a versatile and useful jet, why is British Airways retiring them?
The plane has been serving BA faithful for 30 years, but now must be retired for something new. Many airlines that perform the best (Such as Singapore, which was rated the worlds best airline recently) have very young fleets, under 10 years. For an airline to have a jet over 20 years old is almost unheard of.
Simply, the 767 is not fuel efficient (and very expensive to run), loud and lacks the features that we have come to expect (Such as power in every seat, wifi, ambient lighting, big windows, and a comfortable pressurization).
British Airways always could have updated the aircraft interior and kept them in service (Like Air France is with their old A380s), but it may have cost more than what the planes were really worth.
With so many options on the market, it would be foolish for British Airways to not consider removing these planes from service. The real question is, why didn’t they do it sooner?
What will replace the Boeing 767?
So far British Airways has split up the Boeing 767 role. The shorter routes are being served by an Airbus A321, whilst long-haul routes are being served by Boeing 787.
However, ultimately the Boeing 767 will only be replaced by a Boeing 787 or the newer Boeing 797.
This particular jet, G-BZHA, will be replaced by an A321neo later this year.
We are sad to see the jet go, but at the same time can’t wait to see what the future has in store for British aviation.
What do you think? Was British Airways wise to retire the Boeing 767?