Today marks the end of an era as British Airways (BA) retired the Boeing 767 type from its fleet with last revenue flight operated yesterday using Boeing 767-336(ER) registered as G-BZHA, which departed from London Heathrow on Sunday, 25 November 2018 at 12:20 (GMT) BA662 to Larnaca, Cyprus and returned to London Heathrow on the same day as BA663 at 22:40 (GMT). But why did they store this aircraft loved by many avgeeks & passengers for its special comfort? Today I will provide you with the answer:
The Boeing 767 served as a workhorse for the London-based airline for close to 30 years. In the late 1980s, when BA was contemplating a wide body purchase, the Boeing 767 was chosen over the Airbus A300 citing the commonality with the Boeing 757. Since 1990, BA has deployed the Boeing 767 in various routes, operating to destinations in the Caribbean, North America, Africa, and West Asia as well as to points in the airline’s short-haul network proving the versatility of this aircraft type.
Ahead of yesterday’s retirement, BA welcomed its first Airbus A321New Engine Option (NEO) variant with further nine aircraft on order which is expected to be delivered by the end of 2019. The Airbus A321NEO will accommodate 235 seats in a standard 3-3 configuration which makes it denser in comparison to the Airbus A321 Current Engine Option (CEO) variant.
Airbus offers a new optimized cabin configuration called Cabin-Flex, which gives an option of adding additional seating capacity by deleting door number 2 permanently and activating two overwing exits on each side. This combined with the slimline Recaro seats would make it an ideal replacement for the Boeing 767.
The NEO variant of the Airbus A320 family has proved to be efficient by offering a reduction of fuel burn per seat by 20 percent, along with an additional range of up to 500 nautical miles/ 900 kilometers or 2 tonnes of extra cargo payload. These operational benefits are in line with BA’s strategy of having an efficient fleet in order to lower operating costs.
As part of the airline’s fleet renewal plan, BA has successfully replaced the Boeing 767 with single-aisle aircraft by Airbus. The routes beyond the short-haul network are currently being served by Boeing 787, which could see Airbus A321LR being operated in the future once launched. The long-range variant would open a world of opportunities for airlines to connect more thin and skinny O-D pairs using single-aisle aircraft, especially in the highly price sensitive transatlantic market.
The British Airways Boeing 767 Fleet has amazed many people over the last 25 years. The 2 Rolls Royce RB211-524H engines have brought capacity up to 11,065 KM, offering the possibility to use the aircraft on short-haul & transatlantic routes. Today we say Thank You & Good Bye to this beautiful plane!