British Airways Proceeding With Replacement of Biggest 747 Fleet

British Airways (IAG) said it’s continuing its evaluation of potential replacements for the world’s biggest fleet of Boeing Co. (BA) 747 jumbo jets.

BA has split its long-haul jet requirement into planes for which successors are available now in the form of models such as the Airbus SAS A380 and Boeing Co. 787, and those for which appropriate alternatives are still under development, according to Keith Williams, the IAG unit’s chief executive officer.

The 747 replacement order relates to those future aircraft, Williams said at a British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce event in Geneva, adding: “It’s an ongoing process and I can’t say more than that at the moment.”

BA’s fleet manager, Alexander Grant, said last year that it planned to assess Toulouse, France-based Airbus (EAD)’s A350-1000, the biggest version of its latest wide-body, and two offerings from Chicago-based Boeing -- the planned 787-10, a stretch of its Dreamliner, and the re-winged 777-X upgrade of the 777.

The unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) has 52 747-400s in service, plus three in storage. The planes, built to a four-decade-old design, currently carry as many 345 people in a four-class seating configuration, according to the company’s website.

To contact the reporters on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net; Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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