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British Airways buys Boeing Dreamliners

BA is buying 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners as it renews its long-haul fleet, and has options for a further 18 of the new planes.

The total number of orders for Boeing's new medium and long-haul 787 has now reached 790, making it the most successful new airplane in aviation history. The British Airways order alone is valued at $4.4 billion at list prices.

"The 787 is a fantastic aircraft and will be a welcome addition to our fleet. It will provide major environmental improvements in terms of global emissions, local air quality and noise," said BA chief executive, Willie Walsh.

"With lower operating costs and the range to fly to all our destinations, it will give us more flexibility when planning our route network and we are confident that our customers will enjoy flying on the aircraft," added Walsh.

British Airways has chosen the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine to power its Dreamliners. The 787 is said to have a noise footprint that is 60% smaller than that of planes of a similar size. The plane is constructed of more than 50% advanced carbon composites, giving it the biggest windows in the industry. The design also allows higher cabin humidity and lower cabin altitude, which is said to reduce passenger fatigue.

As there are similarities between the flight decks of the new 787 and the old 777, BA 777 pilots will be able to qualify to fly the Dreamliner in only five days.

BA announced that "Long-haul premium markets continue to be strong" when it released its passenger figures for November. It also announced new short-haul flights from Heathrow to Malaga, and from Gatwick to Alicante, Faro, Gibraltar, Ibiza, Malaga, Palma and Tunis.

Written by: Nick Purdom