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British Airways will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 in January 2020 as the airline strides into Phase 3 of the rollout of its new Club Suites business class – a period which will see factory-fresh Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 jetliners strutting the new Club Suites alongside upgrades to current aircraft.
A critical difference between the Boeing 787-10 and the Airbus A350-1000 jets is that the new Dreamliners will include first class.
This will boost BA's premium trans-Atlantic fleet against Virgin Atlantic's own Airbus A350s boasting the challenger's latest Upper Class business class seats on the hotly-contested London-New York route.
BA's Boeing 787-10 is tipped to have eight First suites – the same number as the Boeing 787-9 and also the refreshed Boeing 777s which will begin flying between London and New York from October 27, 2019.
British Airways has previously indicated that this will be the new sweet spot for first class, with the airline moving away from larger First cabins in favour of more Club Suites.
What's yet to be revealed is the style of those new first class suites.
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz has previously indicated a refresh of the airline's current Boeing 787-9 First suites, which the airline internally refers to as the 'Prime' product, saying "This will be our best, current first class, upgraded".
Speaking with Executive Traveller, BA Design Lead Peter Cooke wouldn't be drawn on the details, saying only that "we’re constantly looking at what our next products are going to look like, at the constant evolution of the Prime seat."
BA is also cautious on outlining which current aircraft will be retrofitted with its Club Suites – and in some cases with the refreshed First suites – from 2020 and beyond.
It's a sweeping project which will embrace almost all of BA's long-range fleet, including most Boeing 777s and all Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s through to the end of 2022, and exclude only the rattly old Boeing 747s and some Boeing 777-200s which are off to the knackery.
"The timelines are moving all the time," a British Airways spokeswoman tells Executive Traveller. "We've got hundreds of aircraft to do... the most important thing is, we don't want to pull those aircraft out and disrupt the whole flying program."