Since all of British Airways' own order for a large number of A319/320/321s has specified IAE powerplants, do they plan to phase out their 10 A320s powered by CFM engines (inherited from BCal) anytime soon? Have they announced any tentative timeline as to when the phase out will occur? Thanks for any information you can offer on this subject.
I dont think that BA has any definite plans concerning the CFM powered A320s and the aircraft will remain in the fleet for the near-term future. BA still has a lot of 737s in the fleet (powered by CFM engines) at the moment. I am not sure how many A32X aircraft BA still has on order, but BA is first going to replace any and all remaining 733s and 735s, and then the 734 fleet before it addresses the issue of the older A320s - I would think that BA would have to place an additional order, or exercise any options that is may have, in order to have enough new aircraft to complete its short-haul fleet renewal program.
And then there are the remaining 757s. The 757s that have stayed with BA are rather new - the average age is probably about 10 years old. My guess would be that the replacement of the CFM A320s and remaining B757s will be handled together by BA - with an order for more V2500 powered aircraft in the A32X family or possibly something else - who knows, its a long way off.
They won't go any time soon I expect. As mentioned it's not as if the ex-BCal 320s are the only CFM powered aircraft in the fleet, so maintenance on the engines is not enormously affected. They serve a good job in the short haul fleet alongside the newer V2500-powered 320s/319s. Expect to see some more 319/320 orders sometime in the future, but combined with the 321 orders I should think BA are looking at phasing out the 757 fleet before dropping the "older" 320s.
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
Are the CFM powered aircraft kept on any specific routes and are they all based at LHR?
Reason I ask is that of several trips in the last few years to both Italy and Switzerland ex LHR, I seem to find myself on the ex BCal A320s each and everytime if its planned to be an A320. Might be all coincidence, however of my last 8 trips all but one has been on the CFM birds.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
I think the only routes the CFM-powered A320s are kept away from are the ones where IFE is offered.
A few of the new A320s have full IFE systems for use on longer flights to Athens, Larnaca, Istanbul, Moscow etc, when required, where IFE-equipped 757s and 767s are normally used. While the CFM-powered aircraft are fully capable of operating these flights, BA will always try to allocate an aircraft that can offer IFE.