San Diego Airport has experienced some impressive international growth the past few years, both to Europe and Asia. A few years back San Diego Airport had no longhaul flights, until Japan Airlines launched 787-8 flights to Tokyo Narita, and British Airways launched 777-200 flights to London Heathrow.
San Diego seemed like a big risk for both airlines at the time, though it seems to have worked out quite well for them.
In September British Airways announced that they would upgrade the San Diego flight from a 777-200 to a 777-300ER. Not only did this translate into added capacity, but perhaps more significantly it meant British Airways would begin offering a first class cabin to San Diego (the 777-200 they previously flew to San Diego was three cabin, with business, premium economy, and economy).
This will be the first time that San Diego Airport has international first class service. Well, if you can even call British Airways first class that.
But it seems that British Airways has even bigger plans for San Diego, as they just updated their summer schedule. Via airlineroute.net, British Airways will begin flying a 747-400 between London Heathrow and San Diego as of March 27, 2016.
Interestingly this “upgrade” actually signifies a much less premium-heavy configuration.
The British Airways 777-300ER features:
- 14 first class seats
- 56 business class seats
- 44 premium economy seats
- 183 economy seats
Meanwhile the British Airways 747-400 being flown to San Diego features:
- 14 first class seats
- 52 business class seats
- 36 premium economy seats
- 243 economy seats
As you can see, the number of first class seats stays the same, the number of business class seats is decreased by four, the number of premium economy seats is decreased by eight, and the number of economy seats is increased by 60. I suppose the less premium-heavy configuration reflects that San Diego is more of a leisure destination.
Unfortunately even in first class this sort of represents a downgrade. First class on the British Airways 747 is quite tight, while it’s rather spacious on the 777.
More than anything I’m writing about this because I think it’ll be damn cool to see the queen of the skies at San Diego Airport. The 747 is still the most gorgeous plane in the sky, in my opinion, and I never thought I’d see the passenger version of it at San Diego Airport.
British Airways seems to be doing quite well in California, between their multiple daily frequencies to Los Angeles and San Francisco, their service to San Diego, and soon their new service to San Jose.
How do you feel about British Airways launching 747 service to San Diego?