a large airplane taking off
British Airways A380

British Airways Announces £7 Billion Transformation Plan

British Airways (BA) has unveiled a £7 billion transformation plan at its first ‘In the Skies’ showcase event in London. The British flag carrier has announced new seat designs for its narrow-body aircraft, new lounges, and upgrades to the Airbus A380.

Around £5 billion will be reportedly invested in new aircraft and cabins. All widebody aircraft will feature the new Club Suite Business Class seat and the A380s will be retrofitted with a new First Class cabin.

BA’s Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle outlined the transformation plan, committing to improving customer experience, modernizing IT, and focusing on sustainability, as well as driving improved on-time performance.

“We’re on a journey to a better BA for our people and for our customers, underpinned by a transformation programme that will see us invest £7bn over the next two years to revolutionise our business. We’re going to take delivery of new aircraft, introduce new cabins, elevate our customer care, focus on operational performance and address our environmental impact by reducing our emissions and creating a culture of sustainability. ” 

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO
British Airways Showcase in London. Image: British Airways
British Airways Showcase in London. Image: British Airways

New cabins and Seats

British Airways‘ upcoming fleet of Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft will feature new short-haul seating and cabin designs. Partnering with multiple British suppliers across England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, the airline aims to infuse a blend of modernity and British history into its Euro Traveller and Club Europe cabins.

British Airways A320neo Family New Seats
British Airways New A320neo Family Seats. Image: British Airways

Eight of these A320neo family aircraft are slated for delivery starting in May this year. The revamped interiors will also feature larger overhead bins for added capacity.

British Airways A320neo Family New Seats.
British Airways New A320neo Family Seats. Image: British Airways

Distinguishing itself as the sole European carrier offering First Class between the UK and the US, British Airways also announced that it will introduce a brand-new and exclusive First Class Suite on its A380s.

Anticipated to debut between late 2025 and early 2026 as part of its A380 aircraft refurbishment, this highlights that British Airways will continue to operate the A380s till mid-30s or even longer.

British Airways First Class
British Airways First Class

New Lounge Design

The British carrier has also announced the upcoming opening of a new lounge in Dubai, set to relocate to a larger space at Dubai International Airport later this year. This lounge will debut the airline’s fresh lounge design concept, ahead of the unveiling of its Miami lounge in 2025.

Replacing the existing lounge at DXB, the new lounge will offer expanded space and enhanced amenities for customers. Additionally, lounge refreshes are planned for Lagos and Seattle, following recent refurbishments at Heathrow’s Terminals 5 and 3, as well as in Edinburgh.

New Website, App, and IT Development

British Airways is also heavily investing in the development of a new website and app. It has announced to revamp its digital platforms, including its website and mobile app, as part of its ongoing investment program. The redesigned ba.com website is currently undergoing BETA testing, featuring enhanced personalization options and a suite of new services.

British Airways New App.
British Airways New App. Image: British Airways

The new website aims to empower customers by enabling self-service capabilities, allowing them to manage and modify their travel plans online, thereby reducing reliance on customer care centres for such tasks. Initial updates are slated to be introduced by the end of the year.

Moreover, British Airways is embarking on a £100 million investment in machine learning, automation, and AI technologies across its operations. This initiative spans from booking processes to baggage handling, aiming to improve operational efficiency, accelerate departures, and enhance responsiveness to disruptions.

“Innovative new tools are helping to predict delays (prompting pre-emptive action to reduce disruption) and analyse real-time weather, aircraft capacity and customer connections data to help teams make better decisions. Since the introduction of the systems, alongside a number of new processes and ways of working, the airline has seen improvement to its on-time departures.”

British Airways Spokesperson

Furthermore, British Airways is creating approximately 350 new roles at Heathrow Airport to improve the customer experience at its primary hub. Investments in new equipment, such as baggage tugs and towing vehicles, are also underway to streamline operations.

The airline is also committing £750 million to upgrade its IT infrastructure, with plans to transition 700 systems and thousands of servers to the cloud by early next year.

British Airways Boeing 777
British Airways Boeing 777

Routes Update

British Airways is reintroducing flights from London to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in October and November respectively.

The airline will operate daily flights between London Heathrow and the Malaysian capital city using a Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Additionally, three weekly flights between London Gatwick and the Thai capital will be operated with a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.

In addition to these routes, British Airways is also resuming services to Abu Dhabi on April 20, welcoming Agadir in Morocco on March 31, and adding Izmir in Turkey to its network on May 18.