British Airways, whose long-haul fleet is predominantly Boeing, may order Airbus A350-1000 and A350-900 aircraft to augment and replace some Boeing aircraft in its fleet of international aircraft, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Boeing had reportedly proposed an updated version of its 777, the 777X, to British for its upgrade needs.
Boeing’s board has yet to formally authorize offering the 777X for sale, but that decision is expected soon, perhaps this month.
The A350-1000s, a new composite-bodied aircraft now still in the initial design stage at Airbus, would be smaller than the 777X, which could mean that British could acquire the Boeing plane too for routes that need more capacity.
The 777X would be equipped with new wings and engines and updated electronics. It would be stretched to hold more passengers than Boeing’s current 777-300ER, the largest in the 777 family.
The A350-900 and A350-1000 would be available to British several years before the 777X. The first 777X may be available for commercial flight in 2019 or 2020.