British Airways Retrofitting Boeing 787s With Club Suites

British Airways Retrofitting Boeing 787s With Club Suites

15

In 2019, British Airways introduced its new Club Suites business class, featuring direct aisle access and doors. This marks a massive improvement to the carrier’s business class experience. As is always the case when new business class products are introduced, the big question is the timeline with which seats will be rolled out.

There’s now an update when it comes to British Airways retrofitting its existing Boeing 787s, as this has all taken a bit longer than planned.

British Airways 787-8s & 787-9s getting Club Suites

As far as British Airways’ Club Suites rollout schedule goes, the airline has been taking delivery of Airbus A350-1000s and Boeing 787-10s with the new business class product. On top of that, the airline has been reconfiguring Boeing 777s with these new seats, and at this point, virtually all Heathrow-based 777s feature the new Club Suites product.

However, up until now, there’s not a single Boeing 787-8 or Boeing 787-9 in service with the new cabins. Fortunately that should be changing soon. A British Airways Boeing 787-8 is currently getting new cabins. The jet has the registration code G-ZBJA, and should hopefully enter service in the coming weeks. However, since this is the first aircraft of this fleet type to get new cabins, there’s a chance that certification could take some extra time.

Unfortunately this project has been delayed quite a bit. Back when the Club Suites rollout first started, the plan was for 787-8s and 787-9s to get these new cabins as of 2021. However, the pandemic delayed the timeline for that. The updated schedule was that the first 787-8 should enter service with new cabins as of 2023, but that also didn’t stick.

It remains to be seen which routes will be the first to get new cabins.

More British Airways 787s are getting Club Suites

How is British Airways reconfiguring 787s?

How should we expect the layouts of British Airways’ Boeing 787s to change as they’re reconfigured?

British Airways Boeing 787-8s will go from having 214 seats to having 204 seats, resulting in a capacity reduction of 10 seats:

  • Business class will go from 35 seats to 31 seats
  • Premium economy will to from 25 seats to 37 seats
  • Economy will go from 154 seats to 136 seats

As you can see, while there’s a small reduction in business class seats, British Airways is betting big on premium economy.

New British Airways Club Suites 787-8 seat map

Meanwhile British Airways Boeing 787-9s will go from having 216 seats to having 215 seats, resulting in a capacity reduction of one seat:

  • First class will maintain eight seats
  • Business class will go from 42 seats to 38 seats
  • Premium economy will maintain 39 seats
  • Economy will go from 127 seats to 130 seats

There’s not nearly as much of a change to the Boeing 787-9 configuration, as I imagine we’re not seeing most cabin dividers moved.

British Airways’ Club Suites business class

Bottom line

British Airways has started the process of retrofitting existing Boeing 787s with its new Club Suites business class. The first 787-8 is currently being reconfigured, and should enter service in the coming weeks. I’d expect it will take at least through the end of 2025 for all existing 787s to get Club Suites, and maybe that’s even optimistic.

On top of that, we’re seeing some general changes to cabin layouts here. On the Boeing 787-8, we’ll also see a significant increase in premium economy capacity.

What do you make of British Airways reconfiguring its Boeing 787s?

Conversations (15)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. David S Guest

    Just avoid all BA flights from LGW. As far as I am aware there are no plans to upgrade any BA aircraft flying from there. It is just LHR based aircraft that will ever be upgraded.

  2. korpws Guest

    Another Boeing Casket "flying"; a matter of time till it falls apart in the sky!

  3. Luis Guest

    As a DFW based flyer, I'm looking forward to flying the club suites in 2030!

  4. Ray Guest

    Maybe it’ll go to Hong Kong. Part of the improvements they’ve been planning to make for that route which is surely so competitive with Cathay Pacific being the rival operator.

  5. Redacted Guest

    Exciting times. In other news, looks like the final 777-300 arrived in Cardiff earlier today so hopefully that means the entire -300 fleet will be CS very soon.

    1. 23H Guest

      G-STBC is still flying around, so two in at Cardiff and one still clunking around.

  6. Pat Guest

    BA shifting towards Premium Economy feels like they're fighting the last war. The lack of a decent business class product had to contribute to the demand they've seen for Premium Economy.

    Once BA's reputation for business class seats improves, more of their passengers will want to fly business class.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The lack of a decent business class product had to contribute to the demand they've seen for Premium Economy.

      The Venn diagram between (1) people who can/will purchase Business class, (2) but refuse to do so, in protest to the older seat design, (3) yet only can/will fly BA, as opposed to another airline's Business product....

      ....is likely so small, as to be statistically anomalous.

    2. Rain Guest

      I'd assume it's more to do with the demand they see on leisure routes where there are likely a large number of people who will pay the premium for a large recliner chair but won't/can't pay for business class regardless of quality.
      I know people at work who already fall into that category while I did exactly that for my last long leisure flight as the price premium was small Vs economy with 2...

      I'd assume it's more to do with the demand they see on leisure routes where there are likely a large number of people who will pay the premium for a large recliner chair but won't/can't pay for business class regardless of quality.
      I know people at work who already fall into that category while I did exactly that for my last long leisure flight as the price premium was small Vs economy with 2 checked bags.

      This is further backed up with the already less premium configured -8s getting an increase in PE while the -9s hold the the number of PE seats static

  7. yoloswag420 Guest

    Airlines need to get better and faster at rolling out these products. It's so tiring playing aircraft roulette all the time.

    Sad thing is that even though BA is taking 5+ years for their Club Suite rollout. That's not even bad by airline standards.

    Offer a consistent product, so customers don't have to keep guessing and deal with seat changes.

    I'll bet LH's Allegris rollout is going to be even more of a disaster than it's already been as they start retrofitting.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Airlines need to get better and faster at rolling out these products.

      The airlines generally aren't the problem.

      The seat manufacturers themselves are the ones who are overloaded, overwhelmed, and have little recourse for providing relieve to the queue. There's not that many of them, and they're all facing the same issues.

      The only real way individual airlines are making it "worse," are by going with custom designed units (which are taking...

      Airlines need to get better and faster at rolling out these products.

      The airlines generally aren't the problem.

      The seat manufacturers themselves are the ones who are overloaded, overwhelmed, and have little recourse for providing relieve to the queue. There's not that many of them, and they're all facing the same issues.

      The only real way individual airlines are making it "worse," are by going with custom designed units (which are taking even longer) versus modified versions of extant products. But even then, much of that is negotiated years in advance, so it's tough to pin current backlog issues on that.

    2. yoloswag420 Guest

      It's both. At the end of the day, you can blame seat manufacturers all you want, airlines are the ones putting out the product. It's their own businesses that will suffer from poor release and management (look at LH).

      Customers aren't going to blame seat manufacturers, but the airlines themselves. There are airlines that have done a much better job of rolling out fleet consistent products and others that haven't. There's surely a reason for...

      It's both. At the end of the day, you can blame seat manufacturers all you want, airlines are the ones putting out the product. It's their own businesses that will suffer from poor release and management (look at LH).

      Customers aren't going to blame seat manufacturers, but the airlines themselves. There are airlines that have done a much better job of rolling out fleet consistent products and others that haven't. There's surely a reason for that kind of discrepancy, yeah?

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Meh, customers blame airlines for the weather too, but that doesn't make their complaints logical.

      Not exactly sure what you expect airlines to do, in an environment where essentially every seat manufacturer is at max capacity for years to come, but it'd be interesting to hear........

    4. yoloswag420 Guest

      Except airlines do have control over the seats they design and who they work with, unlike the weather...

      Do you think SQ or other top airlines would've have a trash product rollout like Allegris? Clearly they operate differently and more efficiently.

    5. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      But again, and for the third time: what does that change, when basically all of the manufacturers are at capacity, at this point?

      Do you think SQ or other top airlines would've have a trash product rollout like Allegris?

      Singapore has not yet attempted to roll out a new seating product in the post pandemic production era.

      So I (and you) don't know the answer to that.

      Rumor has it that...

      But again, and for the third time: what does that change, when basically all of the manufacturers are at capacity, at this point?

      Do you think SQ or other top airlines would've have a trash product rollout like Allegris?

      Singapore has not yet attempted to roll out a new seating product in the post pandemic production era.

      So I (and you) don't know the answer to that.

      Rumor has it that they're planning to, so let's see how it goes. To their credit, at least they're keeping their plans/designs confidential, instead of announcing details and timelines that they aren't yet able to meet.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Rain Guest

I'd assume it's more to do with the demand they see on leisure routes where there are likely a large number of people who will pay the premium for a large recliner chair but won't/can't pay for business class regardless of quality. I know people at work who already fall into that category while I did exactly that for my last long leisure flight as the price premium was small Vs economy with 2 checked bags. This is further backed up with the already less premium configured -8s getting an increase in PE while the -9s hold the the number of PE seats static

0
ConcordeBoy Diamond

But again, and for the third time: what does that change, when basically all of the manufacturers are at capacity, at this point? <b><blockquote>Do you think SQ or other top airlines would've have a trash product rollout like Allegris?</blockquote></b> Singapore has not yet attempted to roll out a new seating product in the post pandemic production era. So I (and you) don't know the answer to that. Rumor has it that they're planning to, so let's see how it goes. To their credit, at least they're keeping their plans/designs confidential, instead of announcing details and timelines that they aren't yet able to meet.

0
David S Guest

Just avoid all BA flights from LGW. As far as I am aware there are no plans to upgrade any BA aircraft flying from there. It is just LHR based aircraft that will ever be upgraded.

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published