Toulouse - British Airways will soon receive its first A320neo. On March 16, Airbus conducted the first test flight of the aircraft.
The first A320neo (MSN 8108), destined for British Airways took off from Toulouse on March 16 and returned its base after a four hours flight. The single-aisle should be delivered to the British carrier in the coming weeks.
British Airways is also scheduled to receive a second A320neo shortly after that. The device is already assembled in Toulouse and bears the colors of the company.
In total, British Airways has ordered 25 A320neo and 10 A321neo from Airbus. The A321neos will also be available from this year. The devices will be powered by CFM LEAP-1A.
The A320neo and A321neo will be used to replace single-aisles of the previous generation, in particular, to reduce the number of A319s.
This increase in the size of our single-aisle fleet as well as some changes in the configuration of the cabin will allow us to reduce our unit costs by about 7 %, a welcome benefit and very necessary,said, Steve Gunning, last November, the Chief Financial Officer at the British Airways.
British Airways has not yet detailed the layout of its A320neo and A321neo, but in April 2017 it ordered Recaro SL3510 seats. These new, slim-profile seats help lighten aircraft while providing more legroom.
They will be identical to those of Iberia's A320neo and A321neo, another subsidiary of International Airlines Group (IAG).
The British group has indeed chosen common specifications for new aircraft for its airlines. The company can easily move aircraft between different subsidiaries when needed.
The Lufthansa Group has chosen the same approach, with a standardized A320neo design for its five airlines.
British Airways has launched a fleet renewal plan. Over the next five years. The British flag carrier will acquire 72 new aircraft,
including four new types: Airbus A350-1000, A320neo, A321neo and Boeing 787-10.