Bengaluru: Leading global airline British Airways on Thursday announced the launch of a new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft between Bengaluru and London as part of its 6.5 billion pound (Rs 60,817 crore) global investment plan across touch points.
“With increased flights out of Mumbai and new aircraft from Bengaluru, we are currently focusing on enhancing customer experience on board our flights from India,” British Airways’ Asia Pacific and Middle East sales head Moran Birger said.
However, Birger did not give a break-up of the share of 6.5 billion pounds that would percolate into India as investment.
The new aircraft on the daily flight service between Bengaluru and London has a seat configuration of 219 economy seats, 56 premium economy seats and 56 premium club class seats, total capacity of 331 seats.
Bengaluru is the fourth destination in British Airways’ global network to deploy the new aircraft. Though announced on Thursday, the aircraft started operating from January 2.
“Bengaluru is a very important market for British Airways. Tech companies and young population of the city and India’s growing GDP are a great prospect,” said Birger.
He said British Airways has a well established brand in India and will continue to invest in the country.
The airline is spending 600 million pounds to upgrade its premium club class alone, and renewing the menus, crockery and cutlery and a host of others features throughout.
As part of the investment plan, the airline will also acquire 72 new aircraft, featuring A321, A321 neo, Boeing 777-9 and others.
In India, British Airways completed 90 years of operation and 100 globally.
Commenting on the parameters the airline looks at before launching a flight, Birger said it is the customer demand which is the deciding factor.
Birger expressed sadness at the death of Indian private airline Jet Airlines, saying competition is extremely important in the aviation industry.
The airline currently operates 12 A380 aircraft in its fleet. Amid several questions being raised about the viability of operating the giant aircraft, Birger said British Airways is quite happy operating A380 but declined to divulge the occupancy ratio.
British Airways started operating from Bengaluru in October 2005, completing 15 of operation.