Return Of The A380: The British Airways Fleet In 2022

UK flag carrier British Airways boasts a large and diverse fleet of jet-powered airliners. The London-based oneworld founding member has more than 250 aircraft at its disposal, with a further 24 active at its regional subsidiary, BA CityFlyer. This year will see the Airbus A380 return to widespread service at the airline, following a pandemic-induced hiatus.

When it comes to Airbus, BA operates both narrowbody and widebody aircraft. Photo: Airbus

An all-Airbus short-haul fleet

According to data from ch-aviation.com, there are presently 253 aircraft in British Airways’ mainline fleet. Of these, more than half (142 aircraft) make up its narrowbody fleet, which consists entirely of Airbus jets. The smallest of these are its A319s, of which it currently flies 30. At the time of writing, ch-aviation listed 20 of these aircraft as being active.

The most numerous narrowbody (and aircraft in general) at BA is the larger A320, with 67 examples present in the fleet. 49 of these are presently active, with the other 18 in storage or maintenance. The next-generation A320neo is also playing an increasing role at the UK flag carrier. BA has received 17 examples to date, and it has another five on order.

When it comes to the stretched-fuselage A321 variant, all 18 examples in the British Airways fleet are presently listed as inactive These are some of the airline’s oldest aircraft, with an average age of 16.3 years. Meanwhile, all 10 of its much younger (2.5 years on average) A321neos are active. BA also has a further two examples of the A321neo on order.

British Airways Airbus A320neo Getty
BA has moved away from the Boeing 737 to fly an all-Airbus narrowbody fleet. Photo: Getty Images

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Boeing widebodies

While Airbus is the dominant force at BA in terms of narrowbody jets, its US competitor Boeing has a greater share when it comes to twin-aisle aircraft. The Boeing 777 family is especially popular, with 43 777-200ERs and 16 777-300ERs currently in the UK flag carrier’s fleet. Going forward, it also has 18 examples of the next-generation 777-9 on order.

The airline is also notable for operating all three variants of the 787 ‘Dreamliner’ family. At the time of writing, ch-aviation listed all of its 787-8s (12 examples), 787-9s (18 examples), and 787-10s (two examples) as being active. Its fleet of the latter of these designs is set to multiply in the coming years, with another 10 examples of the stretched 787-10 on order.

Airbus widebodies

While BA flies fewer of its aircraft when it comes to widebodies, Airbus also still has an important role to play in this domain. Indeed, its A350-1000 was touted in May 2021 as a potential new flagship for the UK flag carrier. All eight examples of the type are presently active, and they will be joined in the coming years by a further 10 A350-1000s.

Last but not least, BA is also notable for being an operator of the double-decker Airbus A380. The ‘superjumbo’ has had a difficult last couple of years, with airlines largely electing to sideline it due to the pandemic rendering its extra capacity surplus to requirements.

There are currently 12 A380s in BA’s fleet, of which five are active. It reintroduced the type on short-haul services in November 2021, before recommencing long-haul A380 operations a month later. 2022 will be a key year for the A380, and BA has already added it to three more US summer routes as travel looks to recover.

What do you make of the current British Airways fleet? Do you plan to fly with the UK flag carrier this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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