British Airways have been flying from London to Sydney since the 1930s. Over the past number of years, the Boeing 777-300ER has been the aircraft of choice, combining efficiency, cargo and passenger capacity that suits the route.

According to forthcoming flight schedules, from the end of October 2021, the Boeing 787-9 will be used on the route. This will provide a different experience for passengers.

London to Sydney in Economy? No Thanks!

While the Boeing 787 has large electrically dimmable windows, as well as a lower cabin altitude which helps alleviate jet lag, there is one big issue. That would be the economy class seating.

Boeing designed the aircraft for eight abreast in economy class. Airlines discovered you could pack in nine abreast by reducing seat width, making the Boeing 787 seats down the back some of the narrowest. Only Japan Airlines have the original eight across. Nine abreast for 24 hours would be a trial.


Or is it? Prior to the pandemic, Qantas were running services from Melbourne to London via Perth using the same aircraft. According to all reports, these scored the highest customer satisfaction scores on the international network.

Therefore, it could just be frequent flyer rumour that automatically assumes the 787 in economy is bad. I flew it myself on American Airlines from Dublin to Chicago and found it to be quite fine. Then again, I am not exactly a large person – if I was 6’3″ and broad, perhaps I’d think differently.

Overall Thoughts

Flying from London to Sydney is a long journey, usually taking 24 hours, with most of that in the air. I know from experience that the higher the cabin class, the easier the flight is.

For British Airways, even trading up to World Traveller Plus (premium economy) will present a far nicer experience for such a long journey. Even so, with the lower cabin altitude and higher humidity, the flight should still be more pleasant than one on a 777, regardless of travel class.

What do you think of BA moving London to Sydney to the Boeing 787? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons.