British Airways Will Replace Their Aging 747 Fleet With Boeing 777-900, Plans For 42 Aircraft Delivered From 2020


British Airways has decided in favor of the Boeing 777-900, also known as the 777-X, to replace their aging 747 Jumbo fleet with the first delivery expected sometime in 2020.

British Airways currently operates 34 Boeing 747 as well as plenty of old, pretty dismal 777 aircraft which hopefully will be replaced sooner rather than later.

The carrier has previously said that it plans to retire it’s 747 fleet by 2024 and to replace the remaining 777-200 aircraft with B777-300 ER.

It has now been reported by several sources that British Airways has finally decided on the 777-900 to replace their Jumbos.

You can access detailed information from this full MarketWatch article (see here).

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, announced the airline has committed to purchasing up to 42 777X airplanes, including 18 orders and 24 options. The airline joins a group of leading carriers that have selected the new 777-9, which will debut next month as the largest and most efficient twin-engine passenger jet in the world.

The commitment, valued at up to $18.6 billion at list prices, will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once it is finalized.

“The new 777-9 is the world’s most fuel efficient longhaul aircraft and will bring many benefits to British Airways’ fleet. It’s the ideal replacement for the 747 and its size and range will be an excellent fit for the airline’s existing network,” said Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive. “This aircraft will provide further cost efficiencies and environmental benefits with fuel cost per seat improvements of 30 per cent compared to the 747. It also provides an enhanced passenger experience.”

British Airways has been modernizing its fleet – one of the largest in the airline industry – to more efficiently serve its extensive global route network. In recent years, the airline has introduced the super-efficient 787 Dreamliner family to replace its medium-sized widebody jets. The new 777-9 will replace British Airways’ larger widebody airplanes, mainly the four-engine 747 jumbo jet. …

IAG / British Airways is also a big Airbus customer, but apart from the 12 A380 their Airbus models, all are single aisle planes for regional traffic, short- and medium haul routes.

Pretty much all of BA’s substantial long haul fleet, with the exception of the dozen A380, are Boeing and the strong relationship is also emphasized in the article referenced above.


I love the 747 but the planes that are in operation with BA and many other airlines are now reaching the end of their life cycle. No doubt the 747-400 will be around for many years with carriers that don’t mind flying older and less fuel efficient aircraft, some airlines such as Lufthansa also have 747-800 in their fleet so there will be opportunity to still fly them.

Personally I’m not a fan of the 777 series at all but maybe there will be some surprises with the 900er series as far as comfort and cabin insulation is concerned. My personal favorites as of now are the A380/A350 when it comes to inflight passenger comfort but for BA it likely didn’t make any sense going for A350 aircraft considering their already large 777 fleet.