British Airways has boosted the number of Boeing 787s planned for its fleet, overnight ramping up from an initial order of 24 Dreamliners to buy an additional 18.
The airline has also joined other Boeing 787 airlines in dropping the first class cabin from the next-gen jetliner in order to focus on a cost-effective three-class layout.
The seating plan for BA's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is expected to debut later this year, shows room for 214 passengers divided into the predictable mix of business, premium economy and economy.
35 Club World business class seats sit at the pointy end in a new 'triple' configuration of 2-3-2 (the same as upstairs on BA's A380).
That's followed by 25 World Traveller Plus premium economy seats laid out 2-3-2; and 154 World Traveller economy seats split 3-3-3.
BA has 24 of the original 787-8 Dreamliners on order, with a further 16 of the stretched Boeing 787-9s – although the seating plan for those longer models has yet to be finalised.
However, don't expect any radical new design for BA's Boeing 787 business class. A BA spokesperson tells Australian Business Traveller that the airline intends to roll out "an evolution of the current seat", which is fully flat in a forwards-backwards configuration.
BA's Dreamliner dilemna: good for business, bad for economy
Overall, the two-cabin Club World layout on the 787 is great news for business class passengers who appreciate the benefits of direct aisle access.
But the outlook isn't quite not so shiny for economy: British Airways has plumped for the ultra-dense 3-3-3 layout, where seats are as narrow as you'd find on a Boeing 737 short-range plane hopping between Melbourne and Sydney.
That's fine for a brief flight, but BA previously removed these extra-narrow seats from its Boeing 777 fleet when customers complained. Super-tight seating makes the BA 787 one to avoid in economy on the long haul.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.