The first brand new longhaul aircraft to join the British Airways fleet since 2001 has entered service. The Boeing 777-200ER was kitted out at the airline’s maintenance base in Cardiff, having arrived there two months earlier with little more than a carpet for an interior.
Since then, engineers have installed World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and the award winning Club World flat beds on the aircraft, as well as the airline’s audio and video on demand (AVOD) entertainment systems.
More than 20 engineers worked on the project, which took eight weeks to complete, following 6 months of planning and preparation.
Air conditioning ducting and electrical looms in the ceiling had to undergo significant rerouting in order to accommodate a specially designed flight crew rest pod as well as installing under-floor plumbing. An overhead rest area for cabin crew was also installed.
Flight crew will have access to a spacious rest area complete with two business jet style leather seats, two bunks and a fully functioning AVOD entertainment system. The unit is also equipped with it’s own toilet.
As part of the retrofit modification, Engineers reconfigured a number of galleys, toilets and closets and by doing so allowed the addition of another twelve Club World seats. The projected financial return for these additional twelve seats will not only pay for the purchase and installation of the flight crew rest area, but will also generate additional revenue through its future years in service.
Garry Copeland, Director of Engineering at British Airways, said: "Our engineers in Cardiff have done a fantastic job in preparing the new aircraft for service.
These were some of the most complex modifications ever carried out at BAMC but once again they have risen to the challenge.
Their work will help us to continue to deliver the high levels of customer service our customers expect."
The aircraft arrived at BAMC on the March 24, 2009 and departed on Monday 1 June. It flew to Washington on its maiden commercial flight.
British Airways will receive three more Boeing 777-200ER aircraft this year. All three will undergo these modifications.