British Airways is close to finalising a deal with Boeing to acquire up to 12 777-300ERs to provide bridging capacity following the major delivery delay to the 787.

The airline, which has 24 787-8/9s on order, was set to begin receiving the Rolls-Royce Trent-powered twinjets in 2010. BA declines to reveal when it is now due to begin receiving its 787s, although Boeing says that the average delay to first delivery for its 787 customers is "20 months".


 © Flight/Max Kingsley-Jones

According to industry sources, BA and Boeing are discussing a deal for the airline to take between 10 and 12 777-300ERs for delivery from 2010. BA declines to comment on the detail of talks, saying only that it is "in ongoing discussions with Boeing about all our options".

BA is a major 777 operator with a fleet of 42 -200/200ERs and four more on order. While this would be the airline's first deal for the 777-300ER, the variant has been part of its ongoing "big-twin" evaluation that also includes the A350-900/1000 and was due to be concluded by the end of this year. BA has a long-term requirement for up to 25 aircraft in this category, and it is not clear if the -300ER deal would represent an interim arrangement or the conclusion of this evaluation.

Source: Flight International