Old Jul 2, 19, 3:27 pm
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bristol, UK
Programs: Accor Gold, HH D, BA Silver
Posts: 5,049
Calendar for the MAD training flights (Caveat Emptor as not yet confirmed, and now more uncertain than ever as to when flights will occur!)

EDIT: Aug. 5th is the confirmed press day that BA will fly the A350 for the first time with 'customers'. Only the outbound BA460 is confirmed as A350 (seat map still shows a 777). The A350 may return immediately as the BA461 but there is no confirmation of this and it is unknown if customers can book a seat on the A350 return, whenever it does return. IMPORTANT: To fly the A350 BA460 flight on the 5th as a paying customer, you can do so in economy (ET) but not in CE (business) as the CE cabin is exclusive for press and BA staff. (nod to Raffles for the tip off) It is unknown if the WT+ cabin will be open to ET paying customers or not. The calendar reflects this Press flight on the 5th and 460 confirmed A350.

For the dates thereafter: All info is completely speculative and has changed significantly at least once already from BA's public statement about doing training flights to Madrid (MAD) in Sept. Current thinking is that BA is expected to use a short haul aircraft, such as the A319/320 or A321 slots to do the training on the A350 and as such the BA flight numbers are expected to be; 456/457 the first two slots each day, 464/465 as the last set of slots each day as these allow plenty of extra gate time in case of issues and also in case of any IRROPS (as they can have some extra time at the beginning, between or end of each day to do the work and get it sorted in time compared to the next rotation. The 777 flights are not expected to be A350 training flights as they are used for cargo and the consensus is that BA do not wish to risk this freight shipments. Hopefully this helps to make it easier to know what flights to speculate on booking until things become clear and what flights others are on to arrange get togethers.

As external blogs and news sites are now linking to this post, I'll make an extra nod to RDWRER as the true originator for providing the training flight dates and exceptions in text format which I have converted to an easier to read calendar below. Details of the original text posts they made of the training flights can be found in post 1 of this thread where there is also a useful FAQ as well. This latest update reflects the bombshell that the A350 long haul Dubai (DXB) timetable has been moved forward 5 weeks from 8th Oct to 2nd Sept, thereby meaning the planned Sept training flights to MAD will now not take place at all or at least until the second A350 is available (currently expected in Sept) This latest information was provided by WVFM and the source was the official BA trade support channel.

Aug 2019:

The calendar is now at version 5 (removing Sept. altogether until it is known if BA will run any in Sept. and removing the last two days before the DXB route begins (as it will likely need some time to be ready for the first long haul flight). Aug. 31st was a planned rest day anyway so don't imagine they will now schedule flights on that day, hence why the 30th is the last day currently thought to be a training run but this may be even earlier or later as the DXB change has shifted the schedule and no one can say when the cutoff date will be.

For those people that have booked flights in Sept. the current thought is to wait a bit and see what happens as you can cancel the avios bookings very close to the flight (up until 25 hours before the flight) and BA may indeed decide to still run some training flights on the second frame in Sept. before using it elsewhere. As things are very speculative, best to sit tight a bit longer until a bit more dust settles and we have a few more pointers on what is going on. Caveat emptor as always.

I'll also start a list of who is going (and when) in the wiki for those that wish to publish their flights in this thread (or add it yourself to the wiki if you wish) to try and organise get togethers.

Last edited by BotB; Jul 18, 19 at 4:52 pm Reason: v5 of calendar (and comments on current schedule)
BotB is online now  
Reply With Quote