British Airways reveals plans for replacing Gatwick Boeing 737 fleet

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British Airways (BA) has ordered eight more Airbus A320-family narrowbodies as part of plans to replace ageing London Gatwick airport-based Boeing 737s with A319s transferred from its main Heathrow base.

The Oneworld alliance carrier says that the eight additional A320s will be delivered between 2008 and 2010.

“This is the first step towards a single short-haul fleet across British Airways’ network,” it says.

BA adds that it will "upgrade the Gatwick short-haul fleet by replacing the oldest 14 Boeing 737s with Airbus A319 aircraft".

Chief executive Willie Walsh says: "We’ve made considerable progress at Gatwick, particularly on costs. Gatwick is an important part of our short-haul strategy and replacing the older Boeing 737 fleet with Airbus aircraft will give us flexibility across both airports."

BA currently has 67 Airbus aircraft in its short-haul fleet.

The airline has separately been evaluating widebody aircraft and intends to place a major order later this year.