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The new British Airways Business Class seats (officially called “Club Suites”) are one of the most highly anticipated upgrades to the airline’s offering in years. This is partly because the new suite promises to be very nice indeed, but it’s mainly because the seats that it will be replacing are so out of date they’re in danger of being considered retro.
When BA unveiled the new Club Suite back in March it confirmed that the seat would debut on its new A350-1000 aircraft and that the first long-haul route on which the seat would appear would be its London Heathrow – Toronto route starting from 1 October 2019.
At the time, British Airways was expected to take delivery of its first A350 at some point in June, and I commented that 1 October seemed like a long time between BA taking delivery of the new aircraft and putting it into service on a long-haul route.
Well, we’re now into July and BA has yet to take delivery of its first A350, but that hasn’t stopped the airline from accelerating the timeline for getting the A350’s into full service.
The new aircraft (complete with Club Suites) is still scheduled to operate crew orientation flights between London and Madrid throughout August, but the date we’ll see BA’s A350 commence long-haul operations has now been brought forward by a month…and it won’t be debuting on the Toronto route.
Up until now, Dubai had been set to be the second British Airways destination to get the A350 (and the new Club Suites) from 8 October, with a second A350 joining the route from 1 March 2020…but that has now changed.
According to multiple sources (I first got the news via @LondonAirTravel), British Airways will now operate its first A350-1000 between London and Dubai from 2 September 2019 as BA107/BA106.
Here’s what the schedule for those flights looks like:
BA107 LHR 12:35 – 23:45 DXB (Daily)
BA106 DXB 02:25 – 06:25 LHR (Daily)
Note: The A350-1000 will not operate BA107 on 7/8 September or BA106 on 8/9 September.
At the time of writing the schedules have not yet been updated to reflect this change so a search of BA.com or ExpertFlyer will still show a 777 as operating these flights through to 8 October, but I fully expect an update to be posted in the coming days.
I’m not surprised to see British Airways bringing forward the launch of its A350 on to a long-haul route but I am a little surprised that it didn’t keep Toronto as the launch destination.
Clearly BA must know what it’s doing (it has all the metrics it needs to make an informed decision), but I’d love to see the numbers which justify putting a Business Class product as good as the Club Suite looks like it will be on a route as vanilla as London – Dubai.
Yes, I know it’s a very popular route, but it’s also a very tourist-heavy route and I would have thought (incorrectly, apparently) that there would have been any number of other routes on which the Club Suites would be better employed.
Still, overall this news will be warmly welcomed by anyone who’s booked to fly on BA107/106 in September – when you book a 777 (which offers the worst BA long-haul Business Class cabin) and get an A350 (with BA’s best Business Class cabin) you know your luck is in 🙂