BA’s new Club World flies in for winter

The new business class cabin

British Airways has revealed that its new Club World - a $185 million business class cabin overhaul investment - will become a permanent fixture on the DubaiLondon route during its forthcoming winter schedule.

Running from October 26 to March 29, 2009, British Airways’ winter schedule sees the addition of a third daily flight on the Dubai – London Heathrow service, widely considered one of the most competitive long haul routes in the commercial aviation market.

The winter schedule for the UK’s flagship carrier, which has 76 years of Middle East operational experience, will see a trio of Boeing aircraft, a 747, 767 and 777, operate the route.

The 747 serviced BA106 will add a further 322 business class seats a week to British Airways’ route capacity.

“The arrival of new Club World on the Dubai route, for the winter schedule, further enhances our commercial proposition and demonstrates the Dubai market’s enduring importance to the airline,” said Paul Starrs, British Airways’ commercial manager Middle East.

“We set the industry benchmark when we launched the world’s first fully flat bed for business class customers in 2000.  We are giving local customers a premium business class product and I’m sure they will find that every aspect of the new seat has been designed to provide the utmost in comfort, convenience and privacy,” said Starrs.

Since revealing the evolution to its Club World seat in October 2006, a 36 month embodiment programme across the airline’s long haul fleet has been progressing on a plane-by-plane basis. Starrs believes British Airways’ local customers are set to reap the benefits of new Club World installations across the airline’s fleet.

“To date, all 57 of our Boeing 747 fleet have been fitted with the new cabin. The full embodiment of our Boeing 777s will be reached by the end of the first half of 2009. Of this winter’s three daily Dubai-Heathrow services, only one - the 747 morning flight, BA106 – will definitely carry new Club World. However, as the 777 installation process nears completion, our local customers will start to experience the new product on more flights from the Middle East,” said Starrs.

British Airways’ Boeing 767s will not receive new Club World fit-outs as they are due to be replaced with new aircraft deliveries. The carrier currently has 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on order.

“We are enjoying high load factors, particularly in the business and premium sectors, from our key markets, which is the UK and the USA. For a long time our core strategy has been to fly from the UK to North America, and will continue to do so, but more and more we are seeing capacity moving to the Asia Pacific region. We are particularly interested in the Indian sub-continent, where we are now flying to six destinations and in China. We are also looking very closely at the Middle East,” said Starrs.