British Airways' first Boeing 787-10 will take wing in January 2020

The stretched Dreamliner will feature eight first class suites alongside 48 of its latest business class Club Suites.

By David Flynn, November 20 2019

British Airways will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 in January 2020, with five more to follow across the year and a further six after that. London/Heathrow to Atlanta has already been chosen as BA's initial Boeing 787-10 route, with flights starting in February.

The Dreamliner's debut comes 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 rolling upgrades to current Boeing 777 aircraft.

A critical difference between the Boeing 787-10 and the Airbus A350-1000 jets is that the new Dreamliners will include first class, with eight berths using the same design as on BA's Boeing 787-9 jets (a suite which the airline internally refers to as the 'Prime' product).

A familiar face in First: BA's Boeing 787-10 will have the same suite design as the 787-9.
A familiar face in First: BA's Boeing 787-10 will have the same suite design as the 787-9.

British Airways is moving towards standardising on a 'sweet spot' of eight First suites across its Boeing 787 and 777 fleet, in a trend away from larger first class cabins in favour of more business class seats.

And when it comes to business class, the Boeing 787-10 of course sports BA's new Club Suites, which boast first-like touches such as a sliding privacy door, along with direct aisle access for every passenger, increased personal stowage and working space plus a larger video screen offering gate-to-gate entertainment.

BA's Club Suite: more space, more privacy and more screen for your inflight movies.
BA's Club Suite: more space, more privacy and more screen for your inflight movies.

Also read: The little things you'll love about BA's new Club Suites business class

If rolled out on the hotly-contested London-New York route, BA's latest Dreamliners will help take the fight to Virgin Atlantic's Airbus A350s, which boast the challenger's latest Upper Class business class seats.

Virgin Atlantic's Airbus A350 Upper Class seat will go head-to-head with the BA Club Suite.
Virgin Atlantic's Airbus A350 Upper Class seat will go head-to-head with the BA Club Suite.

Also read: The little things you'll love about BA's new Club Suites business class

The next two years will see BA's Club Suites refit program ramping up across both the Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-300 jets, to reach a third of the fleet by the end of 2020 and nudge just past the 50% mark by the end of 2021.

2022 sees the Club Suite retrofit program extended to the Boeing 787-9, while the first of the Boeing 777-9 jetliners will also arrive in BA strip; the year will close out with four out of every five Heathrow flights sporting the Club Suite.

The Boeing 777-9 will join BA's fleet in 2022.
The Boeing 777-9 will join BA's fleet in 2022.

That ratio rises to nine out of ten flights by the end of 2023, with the Airbus A380s taking their turn to go under the knife.

That's bound to be a long wait for passengers on flagship A380 routes, who will be making do with BA's current decades-old Club World seat – which debuted in 2006 and has seen only minor revisions over successive years – for as many as six years to come.

By the end of 2024 there'll be just a few hold-outs left, and stepping onto a BA flight with the old Club World instead of the new Club Suite will be reduced to a small but disappointing exception to the 97% rule.

By the end of 2025 – which is six years away, but still closer to today than 2012 was – British Airways expects to have ripped out the last Club World seat.

British Airways CEO Alex Cruz: balancing speed with safety in BA's Club Suite upgrade program
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz: balancing speed with safety in BA's Club Suite upgrade program

"No airline of the size of BA has been able to do a programme roll-out like this in less than three or four years," says British Airways CEO Alex Cruz. "And this has been, and continues to be, the biggest concern I have. We are working as hard as we can to roll it out as quickly as we can, but this is the airline industry. Everything gets quadruple-checked and no sizeable airline in the world has been able to do this quickly."

More Executive Traveller stories on British Airways business class

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 287

Well I hope BA do something special with their First Class update. As things stand, their current “Prime” product is not that much more than special than their new business class seat.

I've always said that BA's current First Class seat is really a business class seat for other airlines. So now that they have FINALLY upped their game in Club, why spend the extra dosh on First??

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1137

I wonder why BA chose to place F on the B78X over the A35X.

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 52

I'd imagine the 787-10 ordered is a bit of a 777-200ER replacement which many do have first class. I'd imagine these birds will mostly do the United States East Coast. The A350 will probably eventually get first class, but I think this first load is for routes that didn't have first class.

KLM - Flying Blue

05 Feb 2019

Total posts 34

I love the new BA Business Class Suite

It has a nice color pallet and it looks very comfortable and private

I am looking forward to try soon

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 151

The 787-10's will almost definitely be deployed on the big bucks routes from LHR to the US east coast. The destinations they can serve will be limited by their decision to NOT fit the 787-10's with Cabin crew bunks (both the 787-8's and -9's both have Overhead bunks for the cabin crew). BA has to adhere to quite strict EASA regulatory rules as well as Industrial agreements regarding bunk rest so the 787-10's will be limited to destinations of a block time under 9.5hr.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 400

Now for the final step for Aussie BA travellers and FF's......get rid of the ghastly 777 on that ultra long haul SYD-LHR! You have A350's and 787-9s which are MUCH more pax friendly.


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