8 Aug 2013

BRITISH AIRWAYS’ FIRST BOEING DREAMLINER MAKES A FLYING VISIT TO NEWCASTLE

DATE: 08-08-13

Plane spotters, holidaymakers and airport staff welcomed British Airways’ first Boeing 787 to Newcastle International Airport as it touched down for a flying visit. (Thursday August 8).

The Dreamliner’s visit to Newcastle was part of the airline’s preparations for introducing the aircraft to long-haul flying this September.

British Airways’ customers travelling from Newcastle will be able to connect onto the Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced passenger aircraft in the world, when it begins flying direct from Heathrow to Toronto, from September 1, and to Newark, New York, from October 1.

The Dreamliner offers huge benefits to British Airways customers – including a whisper-quiet cabin pressurised 2,000ft lower than other aircraft (6,000ft), allowing customers to arrive at their destination feeling more refreshed and less jet-lagged.

The aircraft’s smooth ride technology also provides extra comfort during any turbulence. Bespoke mood lighting in every cabin can be set to reflect the time of day, helping to lull travellers to sleep at night and to wake them gently in the morning.

Customers can also enjoy the largest windows of any commercial aircraft, offering views of the horizon from every seat, or relax watching British Airways’ new in-flight entertainment system, which features more than 1,600 hours of programming.

The Dreamliner is also extremely fuel-efficient – burning 20 per cent less fuel than the aircraft it replaces.

British Airways has ordered 24 of the Dreamliners to arrive by 2017 as part of the airline’s £5bn investment in products and services to benefit customers. The airline’s parent company IAG has announced options to buy a further 18.

The visit to Newcastle helped to train British Airways operational staff based at the airport to handle the aircraft in the event of a diversion, as well as building the pilots’ flight training hours.

It also allowed British Airways’ staff who work in the airline’s Bamburgh Court offices to familiarise themselves with one of the newest members of the airline’s almost 300 strong aircraft fleet.

Richard Tams, British Airways’ head of UK & I sales and marketing said: "We’re very excited to have flown our new Boeing 787 Dreamliner into Newcastle International Airport, which hundreds of thousands of our customers use every year to transfer onto international flights at Heathrow.

"Our customers in the north of England are hugely important to us, and we wanted them to be among the first to see the new aircraft and to learn about all the benefits it brings"

Newcastle International Airport chief executive Dave Laws, said: " It’s wonderful to welcome the new British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Newcastle. British Airways is taking the Dreamliner to several regional airports that it serves and we are honoured to be the first.

"British Airways’ Heathrow service is a vital link for business and leisure travellers in the North East and one which sees thousands of passengers connect onto international services. These passengers will be able to enjoy the Dreamliner experience and British Airways’ excellent customer service."