On a flight from London Heathrow to Larnaca today I had the chance to talk to the cabin crew. After a bit of chit-chat I’ve asked what aircraft going to replace the B767s that currently operate this route. (See https://goo.gl/VJ91qo). I got a very pleasing answer - a 777 is going to replace the current 767. There were rumors that an A321 will be replacing the 767s on flights to LCA, however this will not be the case. According the the cabin crew, LHR-LCA is a very cargo-intensive flight, meaning there’s lots of cargo, and the A321 simply cannot carry as much cargo as a 767. This leads BA no option but to use a 777.
I also managed to talk to the co-pilot, who also confirmed that this is the case. According to him, current 767 pilots (which are not going on retirement) are going to be retrained for the 777. The captain of the flight is retiring in 2018, when BA phases out 767s.
Although it is sad to see this bird go, there are loads of benefits from this. The main one for me, is that BA will have to change Larnaca to be a “World” Destination. This means proper economy and business class.
Here’s the difference we’re expected to see from Club Europe to Club World. (CE right, CW left)
Not my photos, credits to OneMileAtATime and Ken Iwelumo
This will almost certainly come with a higher cost for Business Class tickets. There is also massive improvement in economy class - such as TVs equipped on back’s of seats.
BA also operates seasonal flights from London Gatwick to Paphos, however due to the cabin crew being airport-specific, they have no insight on what’s going to happen on these seasonal flights. Although we can speculate that they will no longer be needed due to the massive capacity of 777. There is also a seasonal flight that operates for 6 months of the year on an A320, and this once again could be speculated that it will be removed due to the passenger capacity of the 777.
This won’t be the first time BA decides to send the 777 to Larnaca. There have been several occasions where due to the 767s going through their D-Check (or some sort of checks), BA was forced to use the 777s on such flights. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch those flights.
Also, according to the cabin crew, the 777 will only take over Larnaca flights and will not take over any other flights operated by the BA’s European Config 767. Destinations include flights to Madrid, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Edinburgh. These routes will most probably be replaced by the A321.
Personally I’ll be taking a significant advantage of this decision by BA, as I fly this route nearly 20 times a year. Can’t wait for lie-down beds and proper IFE.