British Airways plans to order widebody aircraft this year even though jet fuel prices are soaring.
The carrier’s chief executive Willie Walsh told Bloomberg today that British Airways is considering orders of Boeing’s 777-300ER as well as the 787-10, a stretched version of Boeing’s new composite jet. Boeing has yet to formally offer the 787-10. Walsh additionally is interested in Airbus’s A350 XWB-1000.
British Airways would use the 787s on routes to South America as the airline expands service there.
Boeing has delayed delivery of its 787-8 by an average of 20 months, pushing out the first delivery to All Nippon Airways by about 15 months to the third quarter of 2009.
The news comes a day after the International Air Transport Association predicted a loss of $2.3 billion for the airline industry in 2008. The IATA revised on Monday its March estimate of a $4.5 billion profit in 2008. The dramatic swing is due to surging oil prices and the U.S. economic downturn.