May 18, 2024

BA looks to ‘fix pain points’ as part of £7bn investment

British Airways is investing £7 billion over the next two years in new aircraft, cabins, routes and lounges, plus operational and tech improvements.

The technology investment aims to “fix any pain points” for customers.

New short-haul seats and cabin interiors will feature on the next generation of its Airbus A320neo and A321neos, with eight aircraft set to arrive from May this year.

The re-designed cabins will also be fitted with extra-large bins for overhead luggage. 

BA is introducing a new and exclusive First suite on UK-US flights, with new seats due to make their debut at the end of 2025 into early 2026 as part of its A380 aircraft refurbishment.  

Flights from London to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are set to return in October and November respectively.

The airline will operate daily flights between the Malaysian capital city and London Heathrow on a 787-9 aircraft, as well as three flights a week between the Thai capital and London Gatwick on a 777-200ER. 

It is returning to Abu Dhabi on April 20, as well as welcoming Agadir in Morocco on March 31 and adding Izmir in Turkey to its network on May 18.

BA has also confirmed plans to overhaul its digital user experience with a new website and mobile app offering “deeper personalisation”.

“We’re heavily investing in the development of a new website and app and are laser-focused on transforming our business and fixing any pain points for our customers,” said Sean Doyle, British Airways Chairman and CEO.

Already in BETA testing, platforms are designed to offer a range of new services, including empowering customers to self-serve rather than having to call to change their plans. Initial changes will start to roll out by the end of the year.  

From April 3, Executive Club Members will start to be able to send messages free of charge on a single device using the airline’s Wi-Fi, in all cabins.

The service will be available on every WiFi-enabled aircraft within two weeks of the rollout date.

The airline is investing £100m in machine learning, automation and AI across its operation, including bookings and baggage handling.

Around 350 new roles at Heathrow are planned to improve customer service.

The airline is also investing £750m in its IT infrastructure to move 700 systems and thousands of servers to the cloud by early next year.   

In Dubai, it is relocating to a larger lounge space, followed by the opening of its Miami lounge in 2025.

The airline has also announced lounge refreshes in Lagos and Seattle, following recent lounge refurbishments at Heathrow Terminals 5 and 3, and Edinburgh.