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In a first, British Airways' latest Boeing lands in Delhi

October 26, 2015 21:21 IST

The earlier aircraft did not have a first class

British Airways on Monday flew the latest version of Boeing 787, with a new first class cabin, to the national capital, the first global destination for the new aircraft since its induction into the English carrier's fleet.

The four cabin class Boeing 787-9, which replaces three cabin class B787-8, landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 8.55 am today.

The earlier aircraft did not have a first class.

The induction of the new aircraft, in a four-class configuration, was part of the airline's five billion pound modernisation and refurbishment plan of its fleet, spread over five years since 2011. The plan includes induction of super jumbos Airbus A-380s, more Boeing 787-8s, 787-9s and 787-10s, apart from a range of product upgrades.

It offers a total of 216 seats with eight in first class, 42 in business, 39 in premium and remaining 127 in the economy class.

"The induction of the new aircraft shows British Airways real commitment to the India market, which is the second largest market after the USA and outside the UK," British Airways Regional Commercial Manager for South Asia Moran Birger said.

He said the British Airways was open to expand its India network further with the fleet expansion going forward.

The UK's flag carrier, which has been flying to India for over 90 years, currently operates 49 flights a week from London's Heathrow airport to five India cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Globally, the carrier flies to 179 airports across 75 countries.

It reinforces British Ariways' strong focus on India as a market, which already enjoys the second largest position for the airline globally, after the US and outside the UK, the carrier's head of sales for APAC, Robert Willium, said.

Williams said the carrier already has a partnership with Vistara in India.

When asked whether it was looking at more partnerships, including code share with Indian carriers, he said that British Airways always looked at opportunities.

The "interline" agreement with Vistara was entered into by the two airlines earlier this year, Birger said.

"We are very very happy with our operations in India and continue to grow... We are putting in lot of investments into the Indian routes," he said.

British Airways' second 787-9 joined the fleet last week and is destined to start flying to Abu Dhabi and Muscat on the November 5.

Other future routes include Kuala Lumpur, Austin and one of British Airways' many new route announcements for next year San Jose, California, the airline said.

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