British Airways didn’t sneak a crafty Boeing 787 order into the Farnborough bun-fight, but you couldn’t be blamed for thinking it had.
Not least because the non-existent order for 24 aircraft was splashed by Dow Jones and its sister Fox Business…
…and, inevitably, left a trail of confusion in the aviation forums.
It was all complete twaddle, of course, but every false start begins with a gunshot. Whose finger was on the trigger?
Look no further than British Airways itself, which took the opportunity to distribute a short statement directly to journalists as the 787 arrived on 18 July:
As the Boeing 787 makes its first international appearance at the Farnborough Air Show, preparations for the aircraft to enter the British Airways fleet are well underway.
British Airways has ordered 24 of the new aircraft which will join its long-haul fleet from 2012.
Jonathan Counsell, British Airways’ head of environment, said: “We are committed to addressing our impact on climate change…
You might think a landmark opening order for BA, at the UK’s highest-profile air show, would have warranted a quote from chief executive Willie Walsh, rather than the airline’s eco-greenness department, but that minor clue – as well as the fact that BA has been talking about this 787 order for nearly three years – fortunately failed to prevent one of the best slap-your-forehead moments of the show.