British Airways to receive more Boeing 787s in fresh order

British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced a firm order for six Boeing 787-10s which will join the flag carrier’s fleet in 2025 and 2026.

The move was unveiled in IAG’s half-year financial results where it detailed it had converted options for the widebodies into a firm order while at the same time adding a further six 787-10 options to the group’s long-haul order book.

Spanish national carrier Iberia is also set to receive a single Airbus A350-900 in the same timeframe.

The conglomerate says the jets will be used to “restore capacity in the airlines’ [long-haul] fleets.”

In the six months to June 30, British Airways took delivery of four aircraft: an A320neo, a single A350-1000 and two 787-10s.

The announcement of new jets comes as IAG reveals half-year operating profits before tax of €1.26 billion, an improvement of €1.67bn versus an operating loss for the same period in 2022 of €417m.

BA currently holds a fleet of seven 787-10s, the first of which was delivered to the airline in June 2020.
BA currently holds a fleet of seven 787-10s, the first of which was delivered to the airline in June 2020. Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory

The UK flag carrier was the largest contributor to this result, posting a €602m operating profit for the period. The other significant IAG airlines – Iberia, Vueling, and Aer Lingus – recorded earnings of €372m, €96m and €40m, respectively.

Despite posting significant profits, British Airways’ capacity during the period was only 88% of pre-COVID levels.

“Restoration of capacity in British Airways has been lower than in the other operating companies, reflecting the retirement of British Airways’ Boeing 747-400 fleet in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the slower restoration of capacity in the Asia Pacific region,” said IAG in its financial report. “Both Iberia and Vueling have performed strongly in the first six months of 2023, with operating profit before exceptional items exceeding that achieved in 2019.”

On a return to pre-pandemic capacity levels, the IAG report, said: “British Airways to return to pre-pandemic levels of non-premium capacity in 2024; long-haul capacity by 2025; and premium capacity by 2026.”

Elsewhere in its report, the firm said BA was seeing “strong leisure demand in all cabins but lower levels of corporate travel”.