British Airways to receive first 787 in May 2013

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British Airways will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 in May 2013, before receiving a further three of the type by the end of the year.

The delivery date was confirmed by chief executive Keith Williams during a speech to the Aviation Club in London on 13 September.

He also said BA's first Airbus A380 is due to arrive in July 2013, and will be followed by two further deliveries in September and November of that year. The flag carrier has orders for eight 787-8s, 16 787-9s and 12 A380s.

"We expect both types to be fully operational for the winter 2013 schedule, allowing us flexibility on both networks and growth," says Williams.

"The A380 will allow us to replace 747 aircraft and grow capacity on some key city destinations around the world, while the 787s will allow us to open up longer and less dense routes in view of its range and lower operating cost."

Addressing the existing fleet, Williams says the airline is "mid-way through" the refurbishment of 18 of its 777-200s as well as upgrades to its 767s.

BA parent company IAG acquired BMI in April, and the flag carrier will have installed its Club World cabins in BMI's seven A321s by the end of the year, Williams says. The wider integration of BMI into BA will be completed "by the end of the year".

"We have made substantial progress with BMI's business in less than five months," he continues.

"Our plan was to integrate the mainline business quickly to stem its £200 million ($324 million) losses, and then to maximise the opportunities. BMIbaby has been closed and the regional business sold. The integration of mainline is going well, with more half the aircraft now repainted in British Airways livery."

Between 10-15 of the 40 slot pairs acquired from BMI will be transferred to the flag carrier's long-haul services, Williams confirms, with the remainder used to strengthen its short-haul feeder network.