British Airways’ new A350 (G-XWBA) just went tech. Club Suite Familiarisation flights cancelled for the next few days!

This article was updated at 23:00hrs on 11th August 2019. Please see post-script at the end.

Wow that didn't last long!

Just less than a week after British Airways started its commercial flights on its new A350-1000s, its only aircraft, G-XWBA had to make a go-around yesterday lunchtime and in the process exceeded permissible loads on the wing flaps. As of yet there is no confirmation on whether actual damage has been sustained, but precautions have been made and G-XWBA is out of service until further notice.

As part of the A350 crew familiarisation procedure, British Airways flies between London to Madrid as its sister airline Iberia already has handling procedures for the A350 at Madrid Airport. This started off on Monday on the inaugural flight (which we were on!) and had been going smoothly until yesterday, 10th August 2019.


On yesterday's flight BA457 from Madrid to London G-XWBA had to make a go-around at Heathrow airport at approximately 12:48BST (GMT+1) due to windy conditions, and landed shortly after. In doing so it has appeared to suffer some damage (or at least it needs some inspection and signing off) and the later flight BA464 was cancelled, and all further scheduled flights past 10th August 2019 have also been removed from its schedule until the flaps pass technical inspection.

Shame as nearly all the Club Suite seats for August are booked out by Flyertalk aficionados wanting to experience the fun of the new A350-1000s.

Unfortunately we have no news of when G-XWBA will be flying again, but it seems like it's going to be out for a couple of days at least. You should check FlightRadar24 to see whether there are further scheduled flights for this aircraft. I know I'll be checking frequently!

Edit, 23:00hrs 11th August 2019: G-XWBA was flying again as of the afternoon of 11th August 2019. Flight BA464 and BA465 operated as per scheduled. Well done to ground staff for getting the issue resolved swiftly!

About Tim

Tim is an engineer and a nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

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  1. Just spotted on Twitter…

    Update on yesterday’s BA464 incident. BA source says slats on A350 were “badly damaged” during go-around in strong winds. Said they had been flying for years and “never had a landing quite like it”. This 777-200ER filled in as BA456 this morning to Madrid.

  2. I have it on very good authority that it wasn’t technical at all. The pilot due to fly it called in sick and they had no other crew qualified to fly the A350 so had to cancel it and make up an excuse!!

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