Last Summer, we looked at how Covid might affect the rollout of BA’s Club Suite business class seat across the fleet.
We thought we would take a look back at our predictions and take stock of how far the rollout has progressed by January 2021.
What did we expect would happen?
Back in August, we expected the early retirement of the Boeing 747s to speed up the proportion of the fleet fitted with Club Suite.
Whilst BA’s original 2019 Club Suite rollout plan was for 33% of the fleet to be outfitted at the end of 2020, we calculated it could be between 32% and 43%, with between 29 and 38 aircraft in total featuring the new business class cabin.
Unfortunately, it looks like we were wrong and the rollout has slowed slightly.
How many aircraft have Club Suite now?
We reached out to travel and data analytics expert Cirium who keep track of all aircraft deliveries, routes, flights and more.
They were able to tell us that as of last week, British Airways has 25 long haul aircraft with the new Club Suite cabin:
- 8 brand new A350s delivered between 2019 and 2021
- 2 brand new 787-10s delivered last year
- 11 777-200ERs that have been refitted
- 4 brand new 777-300s (which also feature the new First Suite)
Except for deliveries of the 787-10s, this is roughly what we expected.
British Airways originally planned with six 787-10s to arrive in 2020. In reality, only two have.
This is likely to be down to Boeing temporarily halting ALL 787 deliveries based on quality issues and expanded inspections. Boeing hasn’t delivered a 787 to anyone since October, although it is hoping to resume by March.
Further delays to the Club Suite rollout likely
Given the substantial disruption in aviation, it is surprising that the Club Suite rollout hasn’t been harder hit.
However, we are likely to see further delays as both Boeing and Airbus cut the production rates on their long haul aircraft. This means that deliveries will take longer. Airbus has almost halved its A350 deliveries from 9.5 per month to just 5. The airlines are unlikely to complain given current demand.
Club Suite routes in January 2021
The good news is that British Airways is making good use of its Club Suite aircraft, despite the downturn in aviation. Just two of the 25 aircraft with Club Suite are in storage, with the rest plying a number of routes.
In January 2021, Cirium tells us that Club Suite aircraft flew to 17 cities around the world across a total of 234 flights:
- New York (29 flights)
- Accra (25 flights)
- Dubai (25 flights)
- Washington Dulles (24 flights)
- Abuja (21 flights)
- Boston (21 flights)
- Bridgetown (20 flights)
- Nairobi (15 flights)
- Lagos (11 flights)
- Male (10 flights)
- Chicago (9 flights)
- Bengaluru (7 flights)
- Dallas (5 flights)
- Seattle (5 flights)
- Philadelphia (4 flights)
- Mumbai (2 flights)
- Tel Aviv (1 flight)
Whilst schedules are subject to change, we are likely to see Club Suite on many of these routes in the future. Once travel resumes we will run a new article with an updated list of British Airways routes where you can expect to find Club Suite.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)