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BA’s fourth A350 plane is damaged by the painters!

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In one of the more bizarre stories we’ve covered this year, the delivery date for the fourth British Airways A350 aircraft has been delayed due to a painting accident.

This has practical implications for many HFP readers.  If you had been booked on an A350 service in December or January, especially if you were booked into Club Suite, you should keep an eye on your booking.  Dubai is believed to be the main casualty.  As BA is now an aircraft down, it will have no choice but to substitute a non-A350 and non-Club Suite aircraft on some services.

BA A350 damaged at the Toulouse paintshop

FlightGlobal first ran the story.  This would have taken place at the Airbus factory in Toulouse.  To quote:

Airbus is undertaking repairs to a British Airways Airbus A350-1000 after the twinjet was damaged during the final stages of the production process.

The aircraft suffered an “incident”, the airframer confirms, although it has not disclosed the nature of the event or the location of the damage.

Airbus says it is “working with the customer” with the aim of delivering the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered aircraft in December.

FlightGlobal understands, from a source familiar with the situation, that the A350-1000 was parked in a paint shop and sustained surface damage from one of the many pieces of equipment that surround the aircraft in such facilities.

“Airbus has assured us that the aircraft will be fully repaired and delivered shortly,” says British Airways, without elaborating on the circumstances.

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Comments (167)

  • BJ says:

    Reading between the lines it sounds like the aircraft may have been vandalised.

    • The Original David says:

      Which particularly lines are you reading between? Sounds like wild speculation to me…

      • BJ says:

        I just figured that if it was nothing out of the ordinary they would have stated the cause. Anyway, nothing wild about it, vandalism in workplaces is not uncommon for a whole variety of reasons.

        • The Original David says:

          I’m not an aircraft painter, but I’d hope that if an aircraft is damaged in any way while it’s being painted it would be “out of the ordinary”…

          It’s pretty embarrassing for Airbus however it was caused to be honest, so they probably think that the fewer details are known, the less traction any media coverage will get.

          • Russ says:

            Yes the quote marks are unnecessary and especially around the word incident. Global stooping to click bait?

    • ChrisC says:

      And who would do that? And why?

      If it was some malcontent airbus employee why damage a piece of customers property that you and your colleagues have been working on. You’d want to damage Airbus’s equipment wouldn’t yiu?

      I read it that either something fell onto the wing from above or that something hit the wing as it was being moved around the plane.

      Stuff happens and doesn’t always mean some wild conspiracy theory is the cause.

      • BJ says:

        Obviously the reason is most likely something mundane but that does not mean there are no other possibilities.

      • Andrew says:

        Goodness no. You clearly haven’t had to tidy up the consequences of malcontent staff protests and damage in the workplace.

        This kind of activity is far more effective when it involves clients rather than just internal stuff. Internal stuff is an incovenience, but usually just means arranging a deep clean or, at worst, picking up the business continuity plan, a few days disruption and unbudgeted costs.

        A former colleague was being bullied at work, his “cry for help” was to give the chief bully’s biggest client a “glesga kiss” and a good kicking in the lift when he was escorting him up for a business meeting in our offices.

        It captured the attention of a *lot* of people.

    • Lady London says:

      Airbus’s sites are very secure so this is unlikely.

      • Shoestring says:

        yep, cameras everywhere, I’m sure – not that it would stop some crazy with a chisel and hammer

        sounds more like dozy painter falls off scaffolding and crushes a small part that needs replacing but requires an element of disassembly/ time

      • BJ says:

        For clarity, I think the reason is most likely mundane. I was just raising the question that the lack of information might suggest there was something more to it. I accept that I vould have expressed it better.

  • letBAgonesbe says:

    There are rumours that one of the painters fell of the ladder, right onto the wing which of course broke off.
    Airbus is working tirelessly to repair the broken wing.

    • AJA says:

      I hope that is just a rumour. Pretty bad if it is true and if so I hope the painter involved is ok. Also a bit concerned that the wing integrity was so easily compromised. I wonder if BA gets a discount on the price of this plane as It’s no longer “brand new” and for the potentially delayed delivery.?

  • Nick says:

    O/T – who offers the best car hire benefits / best to credit points to when hiring in the USA for a week, I have BAEC gold and IHG spire elite (both have car rental partners I think)?

    • Shoestring says:

      ‘best to credit to’ will be your preferred airline scheme – I wouldn’t necessarily exclude a car rental co if they didn’t offer said points to loyalty prog of first choice, probs best to go for the best value rental deal & think about points secondarily

      getting car rental points actually paid being a different issue

    • Charlieface says:


  • Delboy65 says:

    O/T sorry, but wondered if anyone who had the AMEX offer of 250MR for spend at the Post Office has yet received their points?
    I know the terms say “within 5 days of purchase OR 5 days from end of the promotion ” so trying to be patient for the later date, so curious if all in the same boat?

    • BJ says:

      Got ours within a few days across three cards. Are you sure you didn’t miss them, such a small amount of points.

      • Liz says:

        We didn’t get the BP or PO offer on any of our 7 cards this year 😞

        • BJ says:

          I’m sure you’ll make up for it come second week of December 🙂

          • Liz says:

            Used the Chemist4U offer twice and 2 x £5 credited back today so that’s a start. Got my SS list ready to go!

        • Shoestring says:

          I only got it on my ‘left in the drawer gathering cobwebs’ Green card, Liz (and points arrived promptly)

    • avidsaver says:

      + 1 Called Amex who confirmed that the transaction had been logged and points would be added when processed. Still waiting.

    • Anna says:

      No sign of my 1000 bonus avios for £100 spend on either card it was on, think we are in for the long haul with these offers at the moment!

      • meta says:

        Same here. I saved the offer on the card in the morning and purchased tickets late afternoon and nothing. Same with Marriott offer. Reached the threshold 10 days ago and nothing. Will wait till the end of the week before chasing. Lately I had some credit appearing very late.

        • BJ says:

          I think the last time they did an avios offer like this they all posted after the closing date unless my memory is playing trick on me.

  • BJ says:

    OT: A Hilton payment has appeared on my amex transactions as ‘3CPAYMENT*HILTONSOUTHAMPTON’ only my stay is not in Southampton. Any ideas if this will mess up the statement credit for my amex offers?

    • Rob says:

      Is Southampton on the list? Hotels may have same owner.

    • Dave says:

      I had something similar for DoubleTree Bristol. Credit came through ok.

      • BJ says:

        Thanks Dave and Rob. I’ll check the list for Southampton.

        • BJ says:

          Checked the list and the Southampton hotels are there. Also noticed something interesting; newer hotels have been tagged on to the very bottom of the list, not placed within existing alphabetical order. Thus, anybody searching for a particular hotel should not give up if they don’t see lwhen expected just jump to the bottom of the list.

  • Nick_C says:

    Another OT.

    I’m flying to HKG tomorrow and Japan next Sunday. I’ve got my Revolut card pre loaded with HKD and JPY. I’ll be going over to Macau for a couple of days, and using HKD as cash. But if I want to use my Revolut card in Macau, do I need to hold a sterling balance on it as well as HKD and JPY? (Can’t hold a balance in Macau Patacas.)

    • Wollhouse says:

      Hi Nick, I have used my revolut in Europe and the USA when I had about £1 in the sterling account. It will pull the local currency from any account you have funds in if you’re local currency balance is low. No problems whatsoever. The security features turn on and off instantly so you might want to deactivate most of the features until you are actually paying as an added precaution. The UK take up is much lower than say malta/Italy where all the restaurants etc take revolut via the app. Great card, just watch your atm withdrawals so you don’t go over your free withdrawal

    • Stu_N says:

      HKD are universally accepted in Macau, I wouldn’t bother getting local currency. It’s actually pretty hard to find Macau notes and coins.

      • John says:

        No, it isn’t, except in casinos as HKD is the gambling currency.

        Every shop holds both currencies so if you pay with HKD you will only get HKD change and you’ll never see MOP. But people are reluctant to accept a mixture. One exception is the HZMB shuttle bus which gives change in MOP even if you pay in HKD. Oddly, you can pay MOP on the Hong Kong side and get HKD change, at 1 to 1!

        You can exchange to MOP easily on the main streets and at the ferry terminals. The cash rates are fixed at 1.029 buy and 1.032 sell, so if you consider things priced in HKD you basically get 2.9% “rebate” on your spending, only problem being that you can end up with unusable small amounts which may exceed the 2.9% rebate.

        Big ticket items (electronics for example) are priced according to the HK retail price converted to MOP at 1.031 MOP, so you are losing 3% if you pay HKD cash for these, like some clueless people do.

        • Stu N says:

          I should have said “universally accepted for small transactions”. I assumed people would put anything significant on a (0% FX) credit card.

    • the_real_a says:

      Macau is great! Just a note of caution if you are in the Casinos and needing cash… Revolut has poxy ATM limit of about £200 a month before fees are added. If you want to pull from an ATM then you will need a balance in your base currency which will be GBP so yes you should top it up. Revolut will charge a small Fx fee for the conversion on the fly with weekends costing more. Some of the ATMs in Macau were of an older type and in the app you need to select “allow mag stripe transactions” for them to work.

    • Lady London says:

      Personally I like to keep a few USD’s around as a lot of countries people will want them. Not sure if this translates to a card though.

      • John says:

        Despite the quasi-peg, acceptance of USD in HK and Macau is as likely as it would be in the UK.

  • BJ says:

    OT: 6x Nectar points on Ebay may be available and useful to some.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    The IB Groupon deal, just a note that you have to wait up to 10 x days for points to arrive.