Sincerest of apologies if this has been already covered, but I've just noticed this article and thought it might be of interest. I do however appreciate that it tells us nothing we didn't really already know.
to order fleet of long-haul planes"
Tuesday October 17, 2006
source - Guardian Unlimited
British Airways said today it was planning to place a major order for new long-haul aircraft that could be worth billions of pounds to Airbus or Boeing.
The order is likely to spark fierce competition between the two rival manufacturers.
said it is planning to place orders next year for new aircraft - its first major order in nearly a decade - to replace 20 Boeing 747s and 14 Boeing 767s.
It has invited Airbus and Boeing, as well as engine manufacturers Engine Alliance, General Electric and Rolls-Royce and other key component suppliers, to bid.
It said it was considering three Airbus aircraft - the A330, the A350 and the A380 superjumbo - and three Boeing aircraft - the best-selling 787 Dreamliner, the 777 and the 747-8, a new version of the 747.
"Both major manufacturers have their reasons for wanting to make us attractive offers," said a spokesman for the airline.
It said the fuel efficiency of the aircraft would be one of the key criteria in its decision.
's last major aircraft order was in August 1998, when it ordered 59 Airbus A320s and 16 Boeing 777s. The airline currently has 114 long-haul aircraft in operation, all of which are made by Boeing. Its short-haul fleet is a mixture of Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
British Airways' chief executive, Willie Walsh, said: "For the past four years, we have grown capacity by using our aircraft more efficiently. In order to continue to grow our longhaul business we now need additional long-haul aircraft."
The order increases the pressure on BA
to tackle its £2.1bn pension deficit. "It is a major blocker to growth and investment in our business but I am confident we will resolve it," Mr Walsh said.