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BA will still have 777-200ERs in 2030

British Airways will turn next year to replacing its large fleet of older-generation Boeing 777s, but indicates it will retain some of the aircraft until at least 2030.

The IAG-owned carrier has 46 in the fleet – comprising three 777-200s and 43 777-200ERs.

It will phase out the three -200s in 2020 by replacing them with three 777-300ERs under an operating lease agreement disclosed last year.

Speaking during a briefing on 8 November, new IAG chief financial officer Steve Gunning said BA was maintaining its aim to phase out the last Boeing 747-400 in February 2024.

Iberia would follow with the withdrawal of its last Airbus A340-600 in 2025. The type is being succeeded by A350-900s, of which Iberia has ordered 20.

Gunning says the remaining 43 777-200ERs make up the "last big core fleet" that is due to undergo replacement.

BA has ordered 18 Boeing 777-9s which will succeed 14 747s and part of the 777-200ER fleet. But BA has yet to clarify its longer-term replacement plan for the -200ERs.

It has another 24 777-9s on option.

The UK flag-carrier is the third-largest operator of 777-200ERs behind United Airlines and American Airlines.

IAG indicates that BA will replace 35 of the twinjets over the five-year period from 2025 to 2029, with 23 being phased out over 2028-29.

"By the time we get to the end of 2029 we'll only have eight [777-200ERs] to replace," says Gunning.

He points out that there is no upcoming "replacement spike" for the IAG long-haul fleet. Over the next three years, 2020-22, IAG will introduce 51 new long-haul aircraft for replacement and expansion, including several long-range Airbus A321neos and the first 777-9s.

Another 66 replacements will be spread over the subsequent seven years, 2023-29, among them the 35 777-200ERs. IAG will modernise during this period with types including the 777-9, A321XLR, and its remaining 787 and A350 deliveries.

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