Breathe
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Why BA have never ordered the A330

Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:24 pm

Obviously it's a commercial decision, but its always struck me that they are probably the only major airline (certainly in Europe & North America at least) never to operate the A330 in their fleet.

Anybody know the reasons why BA decided against getting the A330?

PS.
Before anyone jumps in a says it. Yes, I know BA "technically" operated some A330's briefly as part of the take-over of BMI, but lets face it, that doesn't count. :D
 
jfk777
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:32 pm

The main reason has to be they fly 777-200ER and that plane and the A330 have similar capacity which would be fine for the Atlantic but what about the Pacific ? BA needs a plane capable of flying not only to New York but to Tokyo and Singapore as well, 1990's vintage A330-300 could not fly from LHR to Narita but 777 could, can and do today. The reason why BA got 777 was because they were smaller but as capable as the 744's.
 
Samrnpage
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:47 am

Adding to JFK's point, LHR is the main reason. Limited slots, means you need a plane that is capable of all routes you need. 777 was just the right plane at the right time.
 
lutfi
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:51 am

IAG though has plenty of them...
 
Softaero
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:27 am

Breathe wrote:
Obviously it's a commercial decision, but its always struck me that they are probably the only major airline (certainly in Europe & North America at least) never to operate the A330 in their fleet.

UA never operated the A330, and they are certainly a major airline in North America.
According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:41 am

When BA ordered the 777 (it was the second customer after United), the A330-200 had not yet been introduced. (BA was the launch customer of the 777-200ER). BA also at the time had relatively new 767-300ERs, eliminating the need for the A330-200.
 
TheGeordielad
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:59 am

Probably because of the B767 and B777.I don't think they would of wanted another aircraft type.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:20 am

Softaero wrote:
Breathe wrote:
Obviously it's a commercial decision, but its always struck me that they are probably the only major airline (certainly in Europe & North America at least) never to operate the A330 in their fleet.

UA never operated the A330, and they are certainly a major airline in North America.

Never operated it, though funnily enough, they do own three of them. :-P
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:21 am

Yes I would say timing. The same thing can be said about Lufthansa and not operating the 777 (yet).
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Arion640
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:40 am

They never needed it. They had had 767's for the medium range and the transatlantic flights while the 777 that could go transatlantic and places such as SIN and SYD.
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vv701
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:17 am

From the 'Boeing 777' section of the book

Gaskell, Keith, British Airways: Its History, Aircraft and Liveries, Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury, England, 1999, p. 55

'During December 1988 Boeing invited eight major airlines, all of which were potential customers and including British Airways, to become closely involved in defining the new airliner's characteristics. What emerged was a a detailed specification which led Boeing finally to abandon its ideas for 767 derivatives, largely because the narrow fuselage would have been uncompetitive against the new Airbus A330/340 and McDonnell Douglas's DC-10 derivative, the MD-11. The airlines wanted a wide bodied fuselage with flexible interior layouts, modern technology throughout and ETOPS clearance from service entry . . . '
 
Andy33
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:10 pm

BA seriously over-ordered 744s, apparently expecting endless expansion. In the later 1990s it became obvious this was a heavily flawed strategy, so they converted orders to 772-ERs. Presumably they could have ordered A330s then instead, but Boeing already held the deposits, so...
 
Breathe
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:48 pm

Very interesting replies. Thanks all.
 
LH707330
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:23 am

Andy33 wrote:
BA seriously over-ordered 744s, apparently expecting endless expansion. In the later 1990s it became obvious this was a heavily flawed strategy, so they converted orders to 772-ERs. Presumably they could have ordered A330s then instead, but Boeing already held the deposits, so...

That's also partly why they ordered RR 777s. Their first 777s were GE, and then when they wanted to turn the last RR 744s into 777s, they likewise had to buy RR to avoid sacrificing their deposits.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:31 am

vv701 wrote:
From the 'Boeing 777' section of the book

Gaskell, Keith, British Airways: Its History, Aircraft and Liveries, Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury, England, 1999, p. 55

'During December 1988 Boeing invited eight major airlines, all of which were potential customers and including British Airways, to become closely involved in defining the new airliner's characteristics. What emerged was a a detailed specification which led Boeing finally to abandon its ideas for 767 derivatives, largely because the narrow fuselage would have been uncompetitive against the new Airbus A330/340 and McDonnell Douglas's DC-10 derivative, the MD-11. The airlines wanted a wide bodied fuselage with flexible interior layouts, modern technology throughout and ETOPS clearance from service entry . . . '


That PBS documentary about the 777 EIS that's on YouTube is really interesting. I didn't know that Boeing was pushing a super stretch of the 767 in the late 80s before UA, BA, and all the others consulted pushed for a more aggressive cleansheet project.

The plane at the top of this drawing is the 763, compared with the stretch and re-winged 767 that was initially pitched to the airlines:

Image
300 319 320 321 332 333 345 346 380 717 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 772 77W 788 789 CR2 CR7 CR9 CRK Q400 E175 DC10 MD82 MD90
AA AF AS AY AZ B6 BA BR DL F9 FI GA HA KF LH MI QX SK SN SQ UA US VY WN
 
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Boeing778X
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:21 am

Breathe wrote:
Obviously it's a commercial decision, but its always struck me that they are probably the only major airline (certainly in Europe & North America at least) never to operate the A330 in their fleet.

Anybody know the reasons why BA decided against getting the A330?

PS.
Before anyone jumps in a says it. Yes, I know BA "technically" operated some A330's briefly as part of the take-over of BMI, but lets face it, that doesn't count. :D


UA and AA never ordered the A330. AA inherited a small number from US, and I think UA owns and leases a few themselves.

But for the most part, yeah, you're right.
United Airlines: $#!ttin' On Everyone Since 1931
 
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MoKa777
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:53 am

Andy33 wrote:
BA seriously over-ordered 744s, apparently expecting endless expansion. In the later 1990s it became obvious this was a heavily flawed strategy, so they converted orders to 772-ERs. Presumably they could have ordered A330s then instead, but Boeing already held the deposits, so...


How many 744s did BA order altogether before converting some orders to 772s?
Never be proud. Always be grateful.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:02 am

Boeing778X wrote:
Breathe wrote:
Obviously it's a commercial decision, but its always struck me that they are probably the only major airline (certainly in Europe & North America at least) never to operate the A330 in their fleet.

Anybody know the reasons why BA decided against getting the A330?

PS.
Before anyone jumps in a says it. Yes, I know BA "technically" operated some A330's briefly as part of the take-over of BMI, but lets face it, that doesn't count. :D


UA and AA never ordered the A330. AA inherited a small number from US, and I think UA owns and leases a few themselves.

But for the most part, yeah, you're right.


UA bought some and leased them to AC when AC was having financial issues. I doubt whether that lease agreement is still in place and whether AC eventually bought them from UA.
300 319 320 321 332 333 345 346 380 717 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 772 77W 788 789 CR2 CR7 CR9 CRK Q400 E175 DC10 MD82 MD90
AA AF AS AY AZ B6 BA BR DL F9 FI GA HA KF LH MI QX SK SN SQ UA US VY WN
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:37 pm

Another point could be that at the time, fuel was much cheaper. That made the 777-200A far more attractive for those medium-haul routes at the time. Commonality often trumped minor fuel savings back in the day.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:57 pm

Breathe wrote:

PS.
Before anyone jumps in a says it. Yes, I know BA "technically" operated some A330's briefly as part of the take-over of BMI, but lets face it, that doesn't count. :D


Didn't those Bmi A330 return to lessor pretty much as soon as the BA buy out was complete ? I don't recall them working under BA flights at all...
 
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Polot
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:07 pm

JannEejit wrote:
Breathe wrote:

PS.
Before anyone jumps in a says it. Yes, I know BA "technically" operated some A330's briefly as part of the take-over of BMI, but lets face it, that doesn't count. :D


Didn't those Bmi A330 return to lessor pretty much as soon as the BA buy out was complete ? I don't recall them working under BA flights at all...

One of the A330s was already gone before the BA buyout and the other two were retired from use in Oct 2012, one being leased out about a year later and the other scrapped. BA bought BMI in April 2012. Obviously though the A330 operations were always operated by BMI and never by BA.
 
BrianDromey
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:18 pm

LH707330 wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
BA seriously over-ordered 744s, apparently expecting endless expansion. In the later 1990s it became obvious this was a heavily flawed strategy, so they converted orders to 772-ERs. Presumably they could have ordered A330s then instead, but Boeing already held the deposits, so...

That's also partly why they ordered RR 777s. Their first 777s were GE, and then when they wanted to turn the last RR 744s into 777s, they likewise had to buy RR to avoid sacrificing their deposits.

BA also had a maintenance venture with GE, but the early GE90s were plagued with difficulties at BA. Of course BA being a long-term RR customer probably had a much steeper learning curve than most. They didn't take another GE powered 777 after the initial batch. Unless they fancied a 777-300 glider they had to have GE.
 
TheSonntag
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:37 pm

While BA inherited some of the oddball A320-100 fleet in the late 80s, BA was at that time also nicknamed "Boeing Always". Only later BA ordered last numbers of A320 narrowbodies and later of course the A380, but by the early 90s BA was no large AB customer. Also Airbus was only becoming a real Boeing competitor in the late 90s.

Additionally as pointed out the early 90s A330 was a less capable plane, and the 777s were brand new. And ETOPS was still a rather new concept.

So it is a combination of timing, Reputation, need, strong relationship to Boeing and also the political climate.

I remember Tony Blair made a statement when BA ordered the A320s.
 
GDB
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:47 pm

BrianDromey wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
BA seriously over-ordered 744s, apparently expecting endless expansion. In the later 1990s it became obvious this was a heavily flawed strategy, so they converted orders to 772-ERs. Presumably they could have ordered A330s then instead, but Boeing already held the deposits, so...

That's also partly why they ordered RR 777s. Their first 777s were GE, and then when they wanted to turn the last RR 744s into 777s, they likewise had to buy RR to avoid sacrificing their deposits.

BA also had a maintenance venture with GE, but the early GE90s were plagued with difficulties at BA. Of course BA being a long-term RR customer probably had a much steeper learning curve than most. They didn't take another GE powered 777 after the initial batch. Unless they fancied a 777-300 glider they had to have GE.


Remember it well, there was some shock when BA plumped not for the 777, no surprise there, but also the GE90. Then that sell off of the engine overhaul plant in Wales, raised a rather stinky smell. That it came back to bite us was not lost on our RR rep in Concorde Tech when we ordered RR powered 777-200ER's in 1998!
(Also, the GE powered 777-200ER's needed engine mods to retain loads in higher altitude airfields, or as well called it, the Denver Bump. This was done starting not long after we got the GE powered 777-200ER's, from G-VIIA onwards).
 
GDB
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:52 pm

TheSonntag wrote:
While BA inherited some of the oddball A320-100 fleet in the late 80s, BA was at that time also nicknamed "Boeing Always". Only later BA ordered last numbers of A320 narrowbodies and later of course the A380, but by the early 90s BA was no large AB customer. Also Airbus was only becoming a real Boeing competitor in the late 90s.

Additionally as pointed out the early 90s A330 was a less capable plane, and the 777s were brand new. And ETOPS was still a rather new concept.

So it is a combination of timing, Reputation, need, strong relationship to Boeing and also the political climate.

I remember Tony Blair made a statement when BA ordered the A320s.


Not denying it, then again jobs for the UK in wings and other components, part RR engine. Some of us were pleased for a different reason. After the GE90/GE buying BA's engine overhaul plant a few years before, there was talk that in a bid to get BA to buy the 737NG series, Boeing were offering to buy BA's MRO. That was us.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:27 pm

When the A330-300 went into service BA had already replaced its TriStars with the 767-300ER, both on shorthaul and longhaul flights. As others have already said, BA was part of the 777 launch group and had this on order to replace the ex-BCal DC-10s as well as fit between the 747 and 767 to adjust capacity (e.g. it split Heathrow - Montreal Mirabel - Detroit on a 747 to become Heathrow - Montreal Dorval and Heathrow - Detroit on the 777).

BA did supposedly look at the A330-200 in the early 2000s when there was a proposal to sell the BA RR powered 767 fleet to a consortium bidding to replace the RAF's TriStars. However, the Government opted for new build A330s. However, the 767-400ER was supposedly also in the running to be the 767-336ER replacement, so an A330 order wasn't guaranteed.

BA could have looked at the A330 in recent years to replace the GE 777s, just like a number of airlines have They would be ideal for the majority of the LGW routes and LHR routes. However, BA has opted to extend the operational life of the 777 to thirty years so there is no need for BA to take the A330.

MoKa777 wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
BA seriously over-ordered 744s, apparently expecting endless expansion. In the later 1990s it became obvious this was a heavily flawed strategy, so they converted orders to 772-ERs. Presumably they could have ordered A330s then instead, but Boeing already held the deposits, so...

How many 744s did BA order altogether before converting some orders to 772s?

At one point in the early 1990s orders and options were for 88 747-436s!

They ended up with 57, but from ATDB cancellations included: -
  • 25/08/1998 - 5 previously ordered 744s swapped as part of order for 16 777s
  • 16/04/1988 - 4 previously ordered 744s swapped as part of order for 5 777s
  • 02/09/1996 - 6 744s ordered - later swapped for 777s
  • 18/12/1991 - 8 744s ordered - 2 later swapped for 777s

So it would seem 17 were swapped out, which if delivered would have given a fleet of 74 747-436s.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
vv701
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Re: Why BA have never ordered the A330

Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:45 pm

Of course BA inherited BD's A 330s that were leased from ILFC. And from the date of purchase of BD on 20 April 2012 until those aircraft were returned to the lessor in October 2012 they almost exclusively operated BD flights. However there is always the exception to prove the rule.

One 330 G-WWBM (CN 398) flew what was planned as its last BD flight on 28 September 2012. On that day it operated FNA-LHR as BD967. The next day it was parked at LHR, but as a back-up aircraft.

On 6 October 'BM was returned to service. BA had a shortage of 763 capacity - see below. So it was put into service operating its first British Airways flight, LHR-LCA-LHR (BA662/63) out of LHR T5. It continued to operate this daily rotation for 10 days until 15 October. On that day it was wet leased by LH and operated LHR-TXL (LH3377) and TXL-LHR (LH3372) on the following day.

On arrival from TXL it was returned to BA. At that time two BA 763s ('G-BNWA and 'WR) were under maintenance at LHR. Another ('WD) was still at YYZ after going tech there on 25 September. Two others, 'WV and G-BZHB, were at BA Maintenance Cardiff undergoing cabin refurbishment. With five out-of-service 763s BA immediately returned 330 'BM to service. It operated to LCA on six more occasions between 16 and 21 October. It was then returned to BD operations (LHR-ALA-ATQ, BD991) before being finally retired by BA after operating ALA-LHR (BD992) on 26 October.

So BA have very briefly operated the 330 in an unplanned, equipment shortage situation.

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