In BA Virtual Airlines, we have a wide variety of aircraft that you can use for short hauls and long hauls; Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and McDonnell Douglas. We have a large database of routes, nearly 10,000 with more coming soon, that match up with real-world routes, which are assigned the same aircraft model for the route. This gives our Virtual Pilots a large variety to choose from, so they can enjoy the exact same views as the real world pilots.
The fleet of aircraft we have is slowly increasing with a huge thank you to the developers at Infinite Flight; Who
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British Airways operate nearly every member of the Airbus family, excluding the Airbus A330 family and the Airbus A340. Ever since the birth of Concorde, British Airways has had strong relations with Airbus, which it hopes to continue well into the future. They constantly look to Airbus for groundbreaking aircraft, whether it is in order to improve the efficiency of British Airways’ ever-growing fleet or passenger comfort; Airbus always seems to have the answer to their questions
The Airbus A318 is British Airways’ most exclusive aircraft came into service in October 2009, flying the route of the one and only Concorde. British Airways’ plan was to use this aircraft on the historic route, which of course is London City Airport to John F. Kenedy, in New York. It uses the legendary callsign BAW1, once again linking this route to its historic past. This is the only route the A318-100 operates and there is not another A318 like it; with an exclusive 32 seat, all Club World configuration, British Airways only have one of them in service. Unfortunately, this majorly historic route could be terminated because of issues such as low load problems.
The Airbus A319 often referred to as the ‘Baby Bus’, it is a slightly shortened derivative of the well known Airbus A320. The A319 is mainly used for European operations, such as Nice and Brussels. However, it also serves regional destinations such as Newcastle and Manchester. Currently, British Airways have around 44 of these aircraft in total
The Airbus A320 is the major workhorse for British Airways in regards to European operations. British Airways currently has 70 in their fleet and with the slightly stretched fuselage it can carry up to 40 more passengers. The A320 is used mainly on British Airways’s European network to destinations such as Teneriffe and Rome, but like the A319, it is also used on some regional flights to locations such as Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The Airbus A321, with a length of 44.5 meters, is the largest aircraft in the A320 family. Again, for pilots flying this aircraft, there is no visible difference to the cockpit as well as it’s various systems. The major difference with the Airbus A321 compared to the Airbus A320 is its length. The A321 is around 7 meters longer than it’s counterpart. With this extra size, it is capable of carrying around 218 passengers, however, British Airways’s chooses to have a 177 passenger layout on European routes, such as Moscow; but also operates a 154 passenger variant on long-haul routes to Cairo and Tel-Aviv. The A321 also has more powerful CFM International LEAP 1A engines, as well as a strengthened undercarriage and larger tires, to cope with the extra weight of the aircraft.
Finally the Airbus A380, the ‘Super-Jumbo’ and rival to the Queen of the Skies, the Boeing B747 series. The A380 is the first aircraft to have a second deck, the full length of its fuselage. It is the largest passenger aircraft in the world and it is the newest Airbus to our fleet. Amazingly for its size, the A380 is one of the greenest and quietest aircraft currently in the air; being 77 meters long and a wingspan of 79.8 meters, this really is a ‘Super-Jumbo’. It is quieter and more efficient than the Boeing B747 as well as having over 50% more floor space for passengers to enjoy with an extra 60% more headroom. The A380 is an ultra-long haul aircraft serving locations such as San Francisco and Singapore; it can fly to these destinations carrying 469 passengers in a 4 class configuration, all in complete comfort.
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British Airways and its subsidiaries operate every single major aircraft family from Boeing with the exception of the 717. British Airways and Boeing have become very close in terms of relations and British Airways has always looked to Boeing for new products.
The Boeing 707 was Boeing’s first jet airliner. Originally bought by BEA and BOAC, the airlines that merged to form British Airways, the aircraft spent a few solid years in the British Airways livery before being transferred to British Airtours, a subsidiary.
The Boeing 727 was British Airways least significant Boeing. The aircraft was leased by Comair for a few years to supplement their fleet of 737’s in South Africa during the mid-late 1990s to early 2002 before British Airways transferred their old 737s over.
The Boeing 737 was once the core of British Airways’ short-haul network, every major variant of the classic series, the -200 through to the -500 was operated on their short-haul network. However, as the 737s continued to get older, between 2001 and 2015 their entire fleet was phased out to be replaced by the A320 family. Some 737’s were transferred down to South Africa and remnants of the once massive European fleet still linger there, however, Comair solely operates the 737-800 and soon the 737-MAX8, variants British Airways never flew.
The Boeing 747 was once the cornerstone of British Airways long-haul market. They had operated the -100 and -200 since the mid-1970’s all the way until their retirement around 2000. While their oldest 747’s are retired, their 747-400 still is very dominant in their long-haul market ensuring popular markets do not go underserved.
The Boeing 757 was a popular aircraft with British Airways for nearly 30 years, operating to high demand European markets as well as being able to hop across the pond; this aircraft was helpful for British Airways by being so versatile. Whilst its fame came to an end in 2010, the 757 lives on with Openskies flying between Paris Orly and New York.
The Boeing 767 was once the cornerstone of the British Airways long-haul market. It was sadly phased out of long-haul operations once the more efficient and cost-effective 787 joined the fleet. It now supplements the A320 family on busy markets around Europe. It’s long haul past is also living on with Openskies flying between Paris and New York.
The Boeing 777 is arguably the most versatile aircraft in the fleet. It operates the majority of all British Airways’ long-haul network and supports the short haul network to just a few destinations. British Airways has over 50 777’s in their fleet and they fly to all six inhabited continents out of London Heathrow alone. Even though the aircraft has been in the fleet for over twenty years they value the aircraft so much, placing orders for new airframes every once in a while.
The Boeing 787 is the newest aircraft to our fleet and it is the rising star of the long haul network. It connects London to many airports and markets that wouldn’t be profitable under the larger 777 and less efficient 767. Its immense range has also helped it connect to long-haul destinations like Santiago Chile and more. The aircraft can also supplement the 777 on routes not quite large enough to support two 777’s a day.
Bombardier, Embraer and Mc Donnell Douglas
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British Airways use three different airframes from Bombardier, Embraer and Mc Donnell Douglas.
The Embraer 190 is a narrow-body, twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company. BA CityFlyer operates the aircraft from London City airport to UK and European destinations. The aircraft is a low wing design with engines mounted below the wings. The wings of the Embraer 190 are fitted with winglets, which reduces the drag and provides increased lift and improved efficiency. The high-performance, high-efficiency engines are very quiet and the aircraft exceeds the noise and emission-related requirements established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The McDonnell-Douglas DC10 was once one of the best aircraft in the British Airways fleet. Operating out of London Gatwick to some of the largest air markets in the world its history within the airline will live on with many routes still being served with the 777-200s based in Gatwick, as well as a few routes being moved to Heathrow.
British Airways had 5 CRJ-700’s which were leased out to one of its franchises – Maersk Air UK. These aircraft were flown for 5 years until Maersk Air UK was sold through a management buyout and became Duo Airways, which went into administration and closed 11 months after forming. The CRJ-700’s were based out of EGBB and flew all over Europe, making them great for quick hops around the continent.