22 January 2016

Cathay Pacific´s A350 cabin only for 280 passengers.

The 1st of Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350 jets is expected to take wing in March (could probably be delayed to April), with new design seats fitted from tip to tail.



Each of the airline's 20 A350-900 jets will carry 280 passengers split between business class, premium economy and economy.

Cathay will be the operator with lowest passenger capacity and with 3-class interior (Qatar has 283 seats with 2-class cabin).

Source: Australian Business Traveller.

38 business class seats will take pride of place at the pointy end of Cathay's A350.

They'll be based on the airline's current highly-regarded business class and in the same 1-2-1 layout – but with an updated design which CX is carefully positioning as a 'refresh' to improve the existing seat, based on extensive passenger surveys and in-person workshops.

Travellers can expect to see improvements in storage space (one of the items delayed in the FAL), the ability to slide the meal table forward and back, and a degree of tilt for the large HD video screen.


There's also a compact premium economy cabin of 28 seats in a 2-4-2 arrangement.

This will sport an all-new design with a padded swing-up legrest be built into every seat.

There's also tipped to be a little more legroom due to a slightly greater distance between each row of seats.

Cathay has also added a handy 'tablet tray' beneath each seat's inbuilt screen onto which passengers can perch a tablet or even a large-screen smartphone for watching BYO inflight video.

Source: Jujug Spotting

The rest of Cathay Pacific's A350 will be given over to 214 new economy seats ranked in a 3-3-3 grid, which also boast a similar tablet/smartphone ledge below their larger video screens.

The Airbus A350 will also be fitted with inflight Internet, which is a first for Cathay Pacific's international fleet and an overdue catch-up to competitors such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Etihad.



Based on the article “Inside Cathay Pacific's all-new Airbus A350” published in Australian Business Traveller.

21 January 2016

A350 assembly-line´s Spanish supplier Aritex purchased by a Chinese company.

Some Chinese companies leaded by Han´s Laser are purchasing the Spanish supplier Aritex, specialized on assembly lines and automated tooling and equipments.

Aritex (and Loxin) is part of a Spanish company Comsa linked to construction and which is divesting within its commitment with banks to reduce debt.

The Chinese company Han´s Laser (along with a few partners) plans to buy, through Hong Kong SPV, the 95% of Aritex Cading.

The operation will round 50 million euros and the Chinese company will absorb the current debt of Aritex.

Aritex, with headquarters in Badalona (Spain) is working for Airbus, Boeing, Comac and other aerospace companies with facilities and offices in USA (Seattle and Wichita), Mexico (Puebla), Brazil (Sao Paulo), Germany (Heilbronn) and China (Shanghai).

Within the A350 XWB program scope, Aritex is the supplier that has developed and installed the following projects for Airbus:

  • Vertical Tail Plane (VTP) assembly line at Stade and Horizontal Tail Plane (HTP) assembly line at Puerto Real. The workstation and tool unit allows the correct assembly of the VTP or the HTP from the start to the end of the process.


  • Wing Stringer Production and Positioning Cell at Illescas. Fully automated cell for the integration of stringers for wings (left and right) of the A350.


  • Double assembly line for the Keel Beam of the A350XWB at Nantes. These bivalent design lines allow the assembly of the two versions of the product (-900 and -1000). The lines combine different vertical, horizontal and subassembly stations, which enables optimization of the necessary useful space.




Based on the article “Una empresa china planea la compra de Aritex a Comsa por 50 millones” published in Expansion.

14 January 2016

Virgin Atlantic will confirm in coming weeks the decision to order 12 A350-1000s.

Based on the Aviation Daily article mentioned below, Virgin Atlantic has ordered 12 Airbus A350-1000s.


The airline has ordered 12 A350-1000s, with six A350s to be obtained directly from Airbus or through lessors.

The airline will not confirm the deal, but it is understood that company staff were told of the plan on 12/Jan.

Source: airliners.net

“We are currently evaluating our future leisure fleet requirements to ensure that any new aircraft we introduce will provide the best possible outcome for our customers and our business,” Virgin Atlantic said in a statement.

“We will make an announcement once we have completed this process and can confirm a decision,” it added.

Airbus also would not comment on the deal.

Virgin Atlantic plans to use the A350s to replace its fleet of Boeing 747-400s, which operate on leisure routes to U.S. and Caribbean holiday destinations from London and U.K. regional airports.

The 747s are due to exit the fleet before 2020.

The airline is in the process of replacing its Airbus A340-300 and A340-600 fleets with the Airbus A330-300 and the Boeing 787-9.

Based on the article “Virgin Atlantic Orders A350-1000s” published in Aviation Daily.

13 January 2016

Zodiac Aerospace publicly humiliated by Airbus for delaying the A350 program.

Airbus has cast doubt on the pace of recovery at French cabin equipment supplier Zodiac Aerospace, saying the company was still "in the ditch" despite repeated pledges to resolve output delays.

Source: Eric Piermont

The comments came in a rare public warning from Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier, who accused Zodiac's management of being "in denial" as it waded through repeated delays and profit warnings related to seat production last year.


Bregier told an annual news conference he expected improvements from Zodiac this year after the plane maker "suffered a lot" in 2015, including missing a target for A350 deliveries due to delays in receiving toilets made by Zodiac.


Reflecting Airbus concerns that Zodiac needed to focus on its existing order book, Bregier took the unusual step of announcing that it had been removed as a supplier on the A330neo.


He said the company wanted suppliers that "do the job" and while this was the case for 99%, there were occasionally some which failed to live up to this.


"Last year it was clearly Zodiac," Bregier said.


"We expect they will manage to do a lot better this year, especially as A350 deliveries are linked to their performance on lavatories and seats."


He added: "Yes, it is a message, but they know it already."


Zodiac's troubles reflect the problems of executing orders driven by fierce competition between aircraft interior suppliers, alongside rapid increases in aircraft production.


The industry is on high alert to find out whether Zodiac's problems at a recently acquired US plant are isolated or reflect deeper strains in the global supply chain.


Bregier said problems in the supply of interior equipment went beyond Zodiac, but were in a more ordinary category.


Zodiac confirmed last month it was behind schedule in supplying toilets for the A350, but said resolving the delays would take only a few months.

Based on the article “Airbus Steps Up Pressure On Zodiac” published in Reuters.


12 January 2016

Do you want to buy an A350 XWB? You should done 2 weeks ago…

Because as every 1st of January, Airbus has updated the list prices of its aircraft.


Well, the price, while important, is only part of the equation, given that the airlines will get substantial discounts off the list price.


White-tails availability may prove to be the deciding factor in many negotiations.

Source: J.V


Airbus has increased the average list prices of its aircraft by 1,1% across the product line.

Last year the price increase was 3,27% and 2,6% in 2014.


A350-900    new price 2016: 308,1 million $  (was 304,8 million $ in 2015 and 295,2 million $ in 2014)

A350-1000      new price 2015: 355,7 million $  (was 351,9 million $ in 2015 and 340,7 million $ in 2014)


Airbus is also publishing the price for the A350-800 although the development of this model was cancelled in 2014.


A350-800      new price 2015: 272,4 million $  (was 269,5 million $ in 2015 and 260,9 million $ in 2014)

10 January 2016

More A350 XWB News. This week on Twitter

These are other A350 News published during this week on my twitter.
Follow me on @A350Blog to watch all tweets in real time.

07 January 2016

4 A350 operators and 4 seat configurations

How many passengers can be fit in a A350-900?

The A350 XWB is offering a great seating flexibility although the baseline of the A350-900 is 325 seats.

Source: Airbus

There are currently 4 operators and each one has different cabin configuration. And all of them with different seats comparing this typical capacity of 325.

Finnair is the operator with more business and premium economy seats (46+43), Qatar Airways is the company with less seats interior (283) while TAM is the airline with more seats in total (348).

Qatar (lowest passenger capacity) and TAM (highest one) have configured a 2-class interior.

Meanwhile Vietnam Airlines and Finnair have 3-class cabin. 

Qatar Airways, the launch customer, has 36 business seats +  247 economy seats = 283 seats in total.

Vietnam Airlines has 29 business seats + 45 premium economy + 231 economy seats = 305 seats.

Finnair has 46 business seats + 43 economy comfort + 208 economy = 297 seats

TAM has 30 premium business + 318 economy seats = 348 seats. (almost in the first 3 aircraft)

02 January 2016

Regular flights with A350 started in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is since the 1st of January the first city in the United States to land regular passenger service on the new Airbus A350.

Qatar Airways, the launch airline of the A350, has started putting the A350 on its Philadelphia flights.

The carrier was flying last year 1 daily round-trip between Philadelphia and its hub in Doha on Boeing 777 jets.

"Philadelphia is the 6th largest metropolitan area in the USA and is an important international business hub that is home to 7 Fortune 1000 companies," said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

QR 727 Doha - Philadelphia  Departure: 01:10  Arrival: 07:30 

QR 728 Philadelphia - Doha Departure: 10:15 Arrival: 06:45 +1

01 January 2016

A350 welcomes the New Year 2016

These are, in my opinion, the main topics and challenges for the A350 XWB in this New Year 2016:



  •          Ramp-up in manufacturing, in assembly (pre-FALs & FAL) and in deliveries from Toulouse.

  •          Recover the current delay.

  •          Assure availability of all components on time and on quality. Specially (but not only) cabin interiors, seats, galleys, overhead bins, toilets, etc.



  •         1st aircraft MSN59 final assembly and 1st flight.

  •          Flight Tests and Certification activities for 2017 TC and EIS.

  •          Cabin interior optimization.


A350-800: cancellation without losing 8+8 orders from Asiana Airlines and Aeroflot.


Other A350 models and versions;

ULR - Ultra Long Range, HGW - High Gross Weight , Regional, stretched A350-1000, A350F cargo, VIP-Prestige, new engines and structural modifications.


Smooth Entry Into Service with new Operators; Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Ethiopian Airlines, Thai Airways, China Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Caraibes, American Airlines, Iberia, etc.


New orders and new customers. With the big order from Emirates to be decided during the year. Specially, new orders for A350-1000 model.


Any other hot-topic for 2016?

A350 Blog in 2016

On 2015 there have been 366 posts in the blog. One per day.

Hundreds of readers and followers from USA, Germany, UK, France and other countries all around the world. Many of you as a regular readers everyday.

Thank you so much!!

On May/2014 I started tweeting the posts (via @A350Blog) with almost 1000 followers.

In 2016 I will continue writting posts with only-official news about the A350 XWB. Perhaps there will be no daily posts but daily tweets at @A350Blog

Thanks again for your patience and comments.