Unfortunate hiccup with BA’s brand new A350
So yesterday I was scheduled to check out British Airways brand new Airbus A350 with the new Club Suites, delivered just last week. Unfortunately there was a hiccup with BA’s brand new A350 and flight 464 never took off.
*** UPDATE ***
The A350 appears to be flying again today.
Check-in for BA A350 familiarisation flight
There was nothing unusual to start, I had checked in and fast tracked through security.
Uncharacteristically, I was even early to board the flight, given the anticipation of the new Club Suites.
The A350 was already waiting at the gate and looked to be getting geared up for the flight. A few fans were eagerly snapping pictures of the new jet, in full view.
Not long after scheduled boarding time we were informed of a potential 30 min delay due to some engineering problems. This quickly snowballed into further announcement of longer delays.
It seemed there was some error in communication between engineers, groundstaff and the operations team, as we were led to believe they were initially engine problems.
This is no doubt was a call made as a last resort.
What was unexpected was the captain himself come out of the cockpit into the boarding area to face the disgruntled passengers and explain the situation and the actual problem with the wing flaps.
Here’s a short clip of that, sorry not the most sturdy!
I couldn’t make out all the details (pesky buggy confounding a strong Scottish accent!) but I understand the aircraft performed a go-around on landing into Heathrow from a previous flight in the day. This was caused by strong weather conditions. That meant the flaps experienced a heavy load and might have sustained some damage. British Airways were liaising with Airbus and taking all precautions.
Current status of flap issues
It seems test/training flights for the A350 are currently postponed until further notice.
BA has not had a great couple of weeks, with pay disputes, airport strikes and an IT glitch just a matter of days ago. Here’s to hoping they sort it all out soon!