IAG prepares to put 747 succession plan to vote

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British Airways aims to replace 16 Boeing 747-400s with 18 Airbus A350-1000s and another 14 with its additional 18 Boeing 787s.

The plan to acquire the 36 new aircraft will be put to BA parent IAG’s shareholders on 26 September.

BA is intending to take “at least” 12 of the newly-unveiled 787-10s with the remainder of the batch of 18 to be -9s. All of the 787s will be fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

The first 787-9 in the batch will arrive in September 2017. BA will then take five more in 2018 under a tentative delivery schedule.

Five 787-10s will arrive in 2019, six in 2020 and the last of the proposed dozen in 2021.

Two of the airline’s A350-1000s will be delivered in the third quarter of 2018. BA will introduce a total of four A350s in each of 2018 and 2019, and five in each of 2020 and 2021.

All the A350s will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the only powerplant available on the type.

The carrier has purchase rights on 18 more 787s and 36 A350s, it states in its notification to shareholders.

It says the orders and options, combined with previously-agreed orders for aircraft including the Airbus A380, will allow for “complete replacement” of its 52 747-400s by the end of 2022.

Shareholders are also set to vote on firming an order for 62 A320 and A320neo aircraft for IAG’s low-cost operator Vueling.

Vueling currently has 70 A320s, all on operating lease, but IAG expects 59 of them to be returned to lessors over 2013-21.

Thirty of the 62 aircraft being ordered are baseline A320s and 10 apiece will be delivered in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Given that the basic A320 is nearing the end of production, in preparation for the transition to the A320neo, IAG says the financing of the jets is “most likely” to be through sale and leaseback.

Vueling will receive its first four A320neo twinjets in the second half of 2017 with 12, 10 and six aircraft respectively being delivered over the following three years. It will make a powerplant choice for both the A320s and A320neos, the notification states, by 2015.