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British Airways took delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 at London Heathrow this weekend.
According to BA,
“The A350 promotes a feeling of well-being, space and calm due to its reduced noise levels, high ceilings and ambient lighting which is intended to compliment the time of day and outside light. Customers will leave their flight feeling rested thanks to higher levels of humidity and refreshed air as the cabin pressure is equivalent to an altitude of just 6,000 feet. There are also environmental benefits to flying on the state-of the-art A350 as 25 per cent lower fuel burn significantly reduces CO2 emissions.”
I’m not entirely convinced by all that, but I will say that the A350 is a very pleasant aircraft to fly on. I slept like a baby during a recent flight from Hong Kong to Manchester in Business Class on a Cathay Pacific A350-1000.
Speaking of Business Class, BA’s A350s feature the airline’s new Business Class seat, the ‘Club Suite’ – which offers 56 seats with direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.
There’s also substantially more storage space (including a vanity unit and mirror), 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens with gate-to-gate functionality, and PC / USB power available.
It’s a genuinely good-looking product and a massive improvement over the old/current Club World.
The A350 also features the latest World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) cabin with “new furnishings including a plush new pillow and warm quilt, new amenity kits and an enhanced service and an improved dining experience”. WTP also consists of 56 seats, but laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration.
The World Traveller (Economy) cabin consists of 219 seats, laid out in rows of 3-3-3.
High-speed WiFi will be available in all cabins (at a price!).
When can I try it?
BA will eventually take delivery of 18 A350s, with four of the new aircraft joining the fleet before the end of the year.
The current plans for the new planes are as follows:
- During phase one in August, the first A350 aircraft will start some short-haul flying between London and Madrid to allow the airline’s teams to perfect their customer service delivery and familiarise cabin crew with the aircraft layout.
- In phase two, which starts during September, the aircraft will begin long-haul flying to Dubai, followed by services to Toronto, Tel Aviv and Bangalore this year. During this period another three A350 aircraft will join the British Airways fleet and two Boeing 777 aircraft will also be retrofitted with the new Club Suite cabin.
- At the start of 2020 phase three will begin which will see British Airways rolling out its Club Suite on further long-haul aircraft across the network.
BA doesn’t always get an easy time here at InsideFlyer (not least in the comments!), but I think the airline really does deserve some credit here.
Let’s be honest, if we had done a poll of readers 2-3 years ago, I doubt many people (including me) would have predicted that the new Club World seat would be as impressive as the Club Suite…
Are you excited to try BA’s new A350s?