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British Airways is to start new Boeing 787 Dreamliner services to Toronto and Newark after receiving the first in a fleet of the new generation aircraft.

The Toronto service is due to start from Heathrow on September 1 replacing 767s and 747s on the route followed by Newark, currently served by 767s and 777s, on October 1.

The airline’s first 787 touched down at Heathrow yesterday following Thomson Airways becoming the first UK carrier to take delivery of the 787 earlier in the month.

The aircraft was welcomed to Heathrow by Willie Walsh,?chief executive?of BA parent company International Airlines Group.

He said: "The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I'm sure British Airways' customers will love it," said Walsh.

"The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years."

BA will configure the 787 with 214 seats - 35 in Club World, 25 in World Traveller Plus and 154 in the World Traveller cabin.

The aircraft is the first of 24 Dreamliners BA has on order. Additionally, IAG recently announced that it will convert 18 options to firm orders for BA, subject to shareholder agreement.

Twelve of these will be extended range 787-10s, meaning that BA will operate the entire 787 family – the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10.

Boeing vice president of European sales Todd Nelp said: "The delivery of the first of BA's 787s is an exciting milestone for Boeing and British Airways.

"The 787 is the most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient commercial jetliner in its class. Its improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and cleaner cabin air will offer BA's passengers an unparalleled flyin