12 October 2015

Singapore Airlines A350 1st long-haul route: Amsterdam from May/2016.

Singapore Airlines will take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 in January/2016 with Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Amsterdam chosen as 1st routes for the next-generation jet.


The Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia partner revealed its plans for the A350 during a media briefing at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse.


Inaugural A350 commercial services will make short hops from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta for the purposes of crew familiarisation with the all-new aircraft through to April, before spreading its wings onto the 13 hour Singapore-Amsterdam route.


The airline expects to have at least 3 A350 jets in its fleet by April and 11 by years' end, out of a total of 63 orders and a further 20 options up its sleeve.



The A350 would give Singapore Airlines the “potential to open new routes, enhancing our network and further strengthening the Singapore hub" said Singapore Airlines' SVP Marketing Planning, Ms Lee Wen Fen.

All pictures. Source: Australian Business Traveller
Based on the article “Singapore Airlines to fly Airbus A350 to Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta” published in Australian Business Traveller.

11 October 2015

Can you imagine flying in a A350 for up to 19 hours?

An ultra-long range version of the new Airbus A350 could fly for up to 19 hours, ushering in a new wave of non-stop flights, although they could also challenge passengers' patience.

Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier said that his company is running the numbers on the long-legged jet, which would be based on the A350-900 and has been dubbed the 'A350-900LR'.

"We are studying it, we are not developing it" Brégier qualified, when asked about this latest skew on the A350 family during a press briefing in Toulouse.

Source: Airbus

"We know the A350 would be capable of what we call ultra-long range missions, flights of 18 or 19 hours, with some limited modifications" Brégier said.

"It's a niche market," Brégier added, saying the A350-900LR would add to the overall appeal of the A350 line-up, which from mid-2017 will include the larger A350-1000.

Source: Getty Images

"We  see customers who want the versatility of the family, so if they want to try long range we can also offer that."

The 900LR variant would see additional fuel tanks added to the A350-900 to boost its range.

Source: Jujug Spotting

Airbus executive vice president for strategy and marketing, Kiran Rao, recently suggested the A350-900LR would carry fewer passengers, saying "I can’t go into details on the type of layouts they’re looking at but it would be a premium service."

Source: Airbus

Singapore Airlines has been lobbying both Airbus and Boeing for a globe-spanning jet, which would allow it to resume non-stop flights between Singapore and the USA, potentially including a 19 hour trek to New York.

The airline previously ran ‘all business class’ flights to Los Angeles and NY-adjacent Newark on the older four-engined Airbus A340 but axed the service in 2013 due to the rising fuel costs.

Based on the article “'Ultra long range' Airbus A350 will mean non-stop 19 hour flights” published in Australian Business Traveller

10 October 2015

A350-1000 on track and progressing very well.

Airbus expects the first test flight of the A350-1000 by the end of 2016, with delivery to worldwide launch customer Qatar Airways the following year.

"The A350-1000 is progressing very well, everything is on track" said Marisa Lucas-Ugena, Airbus' Head of A350 Marketing, with handover of the first jet launch customer Qatar Airways "in the second half of 2017."

Source: Airbus

That plane will feature the Gulf airline's new 'business class bedroom', which Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker touts as offering "a double bed at a business class fare."

A larger and longer-range sibling to the A350-900, the ‘dash 1000’ will seat an estimated 350 passengers in a standard 3-class layout (assuming business class, premium economy and economy) compared to around 310 on the smaller A350-900.

Based on the article “Airbus A350-1000 "on schedule" for late 2017 debut with Qatar” published in Australian Business Traveller.

09 October 2015

A350-1000 will have some improvements on cabin crew rest compartment.

The A350 XWB cabin features overhead cabin crew rest compartments integrated above galley trolleys to maximise installation of revenue seats.

The A350's upstairs crew rest is located in the very back of the plane.

If you're sitting anywhere from row 40 back to the last row, the crew are sleeping right above you.

At rows 40 through to 44 on the Qatar Airbus A350 there are no overhead luggage bins – it's just a solid moulding.

This is what Airbus is improving for the new A350-1000 model.

Flight attendants who go to take time out, punch the combination code on a discrete locked door and climb up into a hidden loft equipped with beds.

There are six bunks, with one set aside for the most senior crew member – here labelled as the Chief Purser, although the title is equivalent to Cabin Service Manager (CSM) and similar.

Each bunk is seperated from the others by curtains.

Based on the article “The Airbus A350's secret loft where cabin crew relax and sleep” published in Australian Business Traveller.

08 October 2015

Ethiopian Airlines closer to ordering the 777x than the A350-1000.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam has divulged the airline’s intention of placing orders for the 777X.

Ethiopian Airlines is expected to place an order for 15 to 20 Boeing 777Xs by the end of this year.

According to Wall Street Journal, the East African airline’s reported order consideration is worth around $7.4 billion at catalog price.
Source: Airbus

What makes this order special is that the carrier first deliberated on purchasing A350-1000 planes but had a change of mind to go with Boeing 777X.

The reason? The airline CEO said the 777X’s structure and performance would suit its operations better at its high-altitude hub in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian’s regional director of the Americas, Nigusu Worku Wordofa, said, "It's good to have different types of aircraft. It gives us flexibility. However Boeing and Ethiopian have been in business for 7 decades; we have a very bright future and will continue buying Boeing airplanes."

Ethiopian is scheduled to take delivery of its first of 12 A350-900 ordered in 2016.

The airline -Africa's largest carrier- has also 11 Boeing 787 in service and an orderbook of 2 additional 787s and 4 777s. In July/2013, a 787-8 from Ethiopian catched fire at Heathrow.

Based on the artice “Boeing 777X Nears an Order Win Over Airbus A350” published in Guru Focus

07 October 2015

Finnair takes delivery of its first A350-900.

The MSN18 has been delivered to Finnair.

Source: Airbus

This is the 7th aircraft delivered to Customers: Qatar Airways (4), Vietnam Airlines (2) and now Finnair (1).

Source: Airbus

The A350 XWB European launch customer has 19 of the type on firm order, to be received from 2015-2023, and has become the 3rd carrier after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines to operate the A350 XWB.

Source: Airbus

The aircraft is configured in a premium three-class layout, with 297 seats, comprising 46 Business Class, 43 Economy Comfort and 208 Economy.

Finnair will commence commercial services with the A350 XWB inmediately, with a European tour starting at Amsterdam and Oslo on 9/October.

Furthermore, on the 21/November, non-stop long-haul A350 XWB flights will start from Helsinki to Shanghai.


The aircraft will join the airline’s all-Airbus fleet of 45 aircraft in operation, today comprising 30 A320 Family aircraft and 15 A330/A340s.

Source: Airbus
"Finnair has enjoyed a long and prosperous working relationship with Airbus and the A350 takes our cooperation to another level.“

“This aircraft is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience," said Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.

Source: Airbus

Working closely with Airbus, Finnair had been preparing the handover for 10 years.

“Today heralds an exciting chapter in our history,” CEO Pekka Vauramo said. “The A350 XWB is the future of flying. This is the moment we have been waiting for.”
Source: Airbus

"At Airbus, we're proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350 XWB,”  said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.

“The A350 XWB's unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair's Asian expansion.‎" 

“Ties between our 2 companies are becoming even stronger,” commented Fabrice Brégier. “I must thank Finnair for giving the A350 XWB such firm support.”
Source: Airbus

Eric Schulz, President - Civil Large Engines, Rolls-Royce, said: “We are very proud to be with Finnair and Airbus today to mark another chapter in the A350 XWB story.”

“The Trent XWB exemplifies how we take the best in technology to deliver new standards of excellence. Today marks the start of a new era in our relationship with Finnair and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Source: Airbus

The airline became the first to commit to the type in 2007 with an order for 19 A350 900s.

The aircraft will form the backbone of Finnair’s long-haul fleet at a time of strategic importance for the airline. It has ambitious plans to double passenger numbers to Asia by 2020, making Helsinki Europe’s gateway to the Far East.

Source: Airbus

 “This is the beginning of a new era for Finnair,” said Maija Ignatius, Finnair’s A350 XWB Chief Purser.

“Everything is new and rethought for modern flying. I believe passengers can sense the excitement and pride as we work in the new airplane.

“I’m honoured to call the A350 XWB my work place. The experience of flying will be redefined!”

Source: Airbus


Based on the press release “Kiitos! Airbus says thank you to Finnair”

06 October 2015

Qatar starts installing inflight connectivity on their A350s.

A Qatar Airways Airbus A350, MSN42 currently in the FAL in Toulouse, has been equipped with Inmarsat Global Xpress inflight connectivity, the carrier’s GX integrator and value added reseller Thales confirms.


However, the airline is still deciding on a service provider.

Thales Inflyt Experience CEO Dominique Giannoni said, “We are on time in terms of installations; the first has been installed on the A350 frame and we are continuing our testing with Inmarsat and terminal unit provider Honeywell.”


Though Thales now has the infrastructure to support Qatar Airways as service provider for the program Giannoni revealed that a final decision has not yet been made by the airline.

All pictures. Source: Oliver Louis

Based on the article “Qatar faces user experience decisions as A350s get fitted with GX” published in Runway Girl Network.