British Airways has applied for regulatory approval to wet-lease three Airbus A330s from Qatar Airways in order to overcome schedule disruption caused by Boeing 787 engine maintenance.
A regulatory filing published by the UK Civil Aviation Authority shows that on 4 May BA requested permission to wet-lease the three aircraft between 1 June and 30 September to "support passenger operations" as it deals with the "impact of aircraft availability within its own fleet as a result of issues surrounding the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Package C engine".
BA seeks to justify the leasing of aircraft from a non-EU carrier on the basis of "exceptional needs". Qatar Airways owns a 20% stake in BA parent IAG.
On 4 May, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said that "a number" of BA's 787s would be "unavailable" during the late spring and summer months of May, June and July.
Speaking at Routes Europe in Bilbao on 23 April, BA chief executive Alex Cruz had described the issue with the Trent 1000 as a "headache" which might require the leasing in of additional aircraft for the summer season.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the Oneworld carrier has eight 787-8s in service and three on order, 16 787-9s in service and one on order, and 12 787-10s on order.