British Airways launched the first North American long-haul service of its new A350 aircraft from Toronto last week, following extensive trials and the launch of its first long-haul service to Dubai last month. The Toronto-Heathrow route was the first to use the carrier’s new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft and clocked in at a flight time of seven-hours and 10 minutes.
The new aircraft does not have a First Class cabin. Rather, it features the Club Suite, British Airways’ latest generation business class seat, which offers customers direct-aisle access, doors for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. It boasts 40 per cent more storage, a vanity unit and mirror, WiFi, enviable 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens, high definition gate-to-gate programming, and PC / USB power. Every aspect of British Airways’ Club Suite has been designed for today’s customer.
Not only is the state-of-the-art A350 aircraft quieter than many of its predecessors, it also delivers environmental benefits such as a 25 per cent lower fuel burn which significantly reduces CO2 emissions.
Since the airline took delivery earlier this year, the A350 has flown over 15,400 miles between London Heathrow and Madrid, completing 40 take-offs and landings to put the aircraft through its paces, test all aspects of its technical performance and to further familiarize the airline’s crew with the service they will deliver. In addition to the short haul flying, the airline has also simulated a long-haul flight on the ground at London Heathrow.
Following the Toronto launch of British Airways’ A350 on selected services, flights will commence to Tel Aviv and Bangalore later this year.
“We’re thrilled to be launching our new A350 from Toronto, a city we’ve flown to and from for nearly 60 years,” said BA North America sales vice president Gerard McEvoy. “The A350 and our new Club Suite business class seat deliver new levels of sophistication, comfort and privacy, and we’re proud to share this with our Canadian customers.”
The arrival of the A350 is part of the airline’s $7.5 billion current investment program, and forms part of an exciting year for the airline as it celebrates its centenary. Other activities include the airline’s BA 2119 program exploring the future of fuels, the customer experience of the future and the aviation careers in the next 100 years.
Fares from Toronto to London Heathrow start at $513 roundtrip for World Traveler and $5,459 for Club Suite.