Anyone following British Airways closely might be left wondering how they hope to return to pre-pandemic capacity with fewer aircraft than they had in 2019. British Airways still remains 23 aircraft short of where it was four years ago.
BA management have clearly had the same thought and exercised options to order a further six Boeing 787-10 aircraft to be delivered in 2025 and 2026.
Currently BA has seven 787-10s in its fleet, with five more still to be delivered under the original order. The follow-on order for six more will take the overall 787-10 fleet to 18 and will be an important part of reinstating premium seat capacity across BA’s network thanks to their premium-heavy configuration. The aircraft have eight seats in First Class, 48 Club Suites, 35 in World Traveller Plus premium economy and 165 seats in economy.
There’s a chance, given the delivery timelines, that the add-on order may feature the new First Class seat that Sean Doyle teased recently.
Other snippets from IAG’s 2023 First Half results include:
- Iberia is currently IAG’s best-performing airline. Margins have increased by 10% since 2019, and now stand at 18% thanks to exceptionally strong demand in Spain. Pre-pandemic, BA was always the best performing airline in the group.
- Q3 seats are currently 80% sold – albeit we are now at the end of July so this clearly skews the maths!
- Q4 is currently 30% sold and this is described as ‘typical’, implying that demand patterns are returning to pre-covid levels
- Capacity across the group should return to about 97% of 2019 levels as the airlines continue to recover (and regrow)
- British Airways and American Airlines dominate the transatlantic market, with 54% capacity of flights to North America. Virgin and Delta come in second, with 22%.
- The BA Euroflyer operation at Gatwick will grow from 18 aircraft this summer to 26 aircraft in 2024. The 348 weekly slots currently leased to easyJet and Vueling will start to be clawed back.
- IAG has increased Avios collection from non-airline partners by 48% since 2019. Half a billion Avios alone were issued in the two weeks following the launch of Avios Balance Booster earlier this year.
- American Express paid IAG £286 million in the first half of the year, up 76% on H1 2019
- On the redemption side, 25% more Avios were redeemed than at this time in 2019
- Net debt remains a chunky €7.6 billion although no major repayments are due until 2026
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.