British Airways has completed a major makeover of 18 of the airline’s iconic Boeing 747s to give them the look and feel of the airline’s newest aircraft. Each jumbo jet now features a refreshed interior and state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system, as well as extra seats for customers flying in Club World.
The first aircraft to be refreshed departed for New York, on the airline’s flagship transatlantic route, while the last one also goes back into commercial service on 4th August as BA117, flying customers from London Heathrow to New York JFK.
Troy Warfield, British Airways’ Director of Customer Experience, said: “We have recently taken delivery of our 12th A380 super jumbo and now have 13 Dreamliners in our fleet. However, the iconic Boeing 747s remain an important part of our fleet, that many of our customers love.
“We know that customers who fly the revamped B747s really appreciate the improved interiors, with their mood lighting, better seating and new state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system, making their flight just fly by.
“Our engineers have made these amazing aircraft look and feel like new, with enhanced comfort, cutting edge technology and cool, clean design.”
Across all 18 aircraft the 11-month refit has involved:
- 61 miles of wiring for the new Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system
- Enough new carpets to cover 34 tennis courts
- Nearly six miles of new LED lights
- 4,500 light fittings
- Fabric changes to 4,950 seats
The refit means the aircraft cabin interiors are similar in look and feel to the airline’s newest aircraft, with 16 additional Club World lie-flat seats.
New carpets, seat covers and mood lighting have been fitted throughout each aircraft to match the new colour pallet of the airline’s new A380 and B787s, including new seat foams and new-style seat covers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort.
All 18 refreshed aircraft have also been fitted with Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system, which gives customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.
Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation helps to reduce the amount of fuel used by the four-engined Boeing 747s.
As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, USA and Europe. World Traveller customers also have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.
The revamped jumbos now operate on selected flights to New York JFK, Chicago, Johannesburg, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh, Kuwait, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington DC.
British Airways has a fleet of 142 long-haul and 143 short-haul aircraft operating flights to almost 200 destinations around world.