British Airways has received delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. The -10 joins the 12 and 18 strong fleets of Boeing 787-8 and -9 fleets respectively, that the airline already has in service. This makes British Airways the third airline in the world and the first in Europe to operate all three variants of Boeing’s Dreamliner family after United and ANA.
The aircraft, registered G-ZBLA, departed Boeing’s Charleston plant in South Carolina and landed at London Heathrow Airport on Sunday, 28th June. It marks the first of 12 787-10 aircraft that the UK’s largest airline has on order which, once fulfilled, will bring the operator’s Dreamliner fleet to a total of 42 aircraft.
The new plane was originally scheduled for delivery in January, but has been delayed as Boeing reduced the production rate of the 787 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The plane maker subsequently shut down the Charleston plant in Early April. The 787-10 is the only Dreamliner variant to be built exclusively in South Carolina, with production of the -8 and -9 split between Everett in Washington, and Charleston.
The 787-10 is the longest stretch variant of Boeing’s popular wide-body offering, which closest competes with Airbus’ A330neo and A350. A total of 1,510 Boeing 787s have been ordered by the World’s airlines, with only 211 of those for the -10 model. The mid-sized -9 carries the bulk of the orders with 877, and it also offers the longest range capability of the family.
British Airways’ long-haul fleet upgrade program is driven by the Boeing 777-300ER, 787 family, Airbus A350-1000 and will later be joined by the Boeing 777-9. These aircraft are set to replace the airline’s Boeing 747-400s and some early Boeing 777-200s. British Airways will be one of the last operators of the passenger variant 747-400, of which it was the worlds largest operator.
Matt is a London-based writer and reporter for International Flight Network who has been involved in aviation from a very young age. He has a particular focus on aircraft safety, accidents and technical details.