British Airways (BA) took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 on Sept. 30 and, on the same day, operated its final 737 flight.
The initial 787-9, registered G-ZBKA, touched down at London Heathrow Airport at 0850 local time following its delivery flight from Seattle.
“The aircraft will now go in to an intensive ‘entry into service’ program, which will include ground trials and familiarization trips, before it begins flying to Delhi on Oct. 25,” BA said in a statement.
After Delhi, the 787-9 will be deployed on flights to Abu Dhabi and Muscat from Nov. 5, 2015. The 787-9 will then make its Kuala Lumpur debut in December 2015, followed by Austin, Texas, in February 2016 and San Jose, California, from May 2016.
The type includes an eight-seat first class cabin—the first on BA’s 787 fleet—as well as Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy).
BA has 22 787-9s on order, with the next aircraft slated for delivery in October, followed by another pair before year end. In total, BA is taking 42 787s.
In another fleet milestone, BA operated its final 737 service from Turin to London Gatwick on Sept. 30, marking the end of 35 years’ service. The type is being replaced with Airbus A320s.
This year, 15 new aircraft will join BA’s fleet, including two A380s, the first five Boeing 787-9s and eight A320s to replace its Gatwick 737 fleet. BA will ultimately also operate 12 A380s and 18 A350s.
Click here for a time-lapse video of the aircraft being built in Seattle.