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The latest airline news, including the 787-9 debut and new seats in First. Plus, new routes from October
Introducing the 787-9
British Airways takes delivery of its first 787-9 in September, with the aircraft earmarked to make its inaugural flight to Delhi on the first day of the winter schedule, October 25. Later in the year, further 787-9s will arrive and start operating to Kuala Lumpur and Abu Dhabi/Muscat.
The new type is 20ft longer than the 787-8, meaning more space for cargo and a slightly larger customer capacity of 216. A new and specially-designed eight-seat First class cabin will also make its debut.
The seat and inflight entertainment controls have also been updated, with a new handset, much like a smart phone, integrated into the seat from which customers can control their TV screen. They are also able to watch one item, such as the moving map, on the handset and another, such as a film, on the 23inch screen. The screen is fixed in place, meaning customers can enjoy gate-to-gate entertainment without the need for it to be stowed away.
And the first of 18 upgraded 747s will also begin flying during the winter 2015 schedule. In response to customer demand, the airline is changing the aircraft's configuration and adding an additional 16 Club World seats. The jumbos' cabins are also receiving a face-lift to bring them in-line with the 787 and A380 fleets, and new Panasonic eX3 next generation inflight entertainment systems will be fitted.
From the end of October, British Airways will start flying from Heathrow three times a week to Reykjavik and, from December, twice a week to Salzburg. As well as these new routes, there will be one additional service a day to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam, Milan-Malpensa, Zurich, Geneva, Newcastle and Edinburgh, and four extra flights a week to Manchester. The winter schedule will also see some Tel Aviv flights operated by a Boeing 787-8.
Terminal 3 in the spotlight
A new Flight Connections Centre (FCC) has opened at Heathrow Terminal 3 to serve the increased volumes of transfer customers following the closure of Terminal 1. Flights to Lyon, Marseille and Bilbao now operate from Terminal 3, and they will be joined by services to Miami, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Cape Town, Accra and Nairobi which move out of Terminal 5 in October as the airline's consolidation from three terminals into two is finalised.