British Airways has announced its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will start services to Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi commencing 25th October. Complete with new First Class cabin, it will be the first operator to launch the new-generation aircraft in India.
The new B787-9s will join the British Airways fleet alongside their smaller counterparts (the B787-8s) in a major fleet renewal, kicking it off with five weekly services. It will also be introduced on the airline’s double sector route from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and Muscat, as well as to the recently launched service to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Along with the new route, the new First Class cabin will also be introduced, now providing a four-class system, unlike the B787-8 with its three-class cabin arranged as Club World (Business Class), World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) and World Traveller (Economy). Offering premium travellers more exclusivity and privacy, the B787-9 will have only eight seats in First Class compared with 14-17 seats found in its other long-haul aircraft – a first for the airline’s 787 fleet.
The new First Suites are designed specifically for the B787-9 with meticulous attention to detail based on the feedback of First class customers, giving a strong emphasis to comfort and maximising the intimate space.
The suites feature four new storage areas that includes an adjustable footstool that has room enough for personal items such as shoes and handbags; a new locker positioned at eye-level perfect for storing smaller items such as tablets, spectacles, passport and washbag; as well as a personal suiter for jackets and coats which passengers can now access without moving from their seat. Other creature comforts include an ottoman, a handy mirror which has been fitted to the inside of the locker door, and for customer convenience charging facilities can be discreetly found in the stowage area next to the armrest.
Careful attention has been given to how customers use the suite, with each function controllable by simple, intuitive touch. The first of these is the inflight entertainment console which has been updated to one much like a smartphone integrated into the seat from which the inflight programme can be controlled. Throughout the flight the handset can be docked to enable multi-viewing (the moving map on the handset and a film on the 23-inch fixed screen for instance) and customers can enjoy gate-to-gate entertainment without having to stow the handset for take-off and landing.
The most technologically advanced aircraft in the British Airways fleet, the new B787s offer different internal cabin pressurisation which leads to greater humidity, reducing the drying effect of the cabin air so that passengers arrive at their destination less jet-lagged.
Flights to Delhi will depart from Heathrow on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays on flight number BA257. The return service will depart from Delhi on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays on flight number BA256.
Moran Birger, BA regional commercial manager- South Asia, said, ‘The new aircraft will have 216 seats and an exclusive first class cabin for our passengers. India is the second largest market for us after the US and the Delhi-London route becomes the first route to see the launch of Boeing 787-900 in our global network.’