The new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft is all set for its first flight on November 24. According to Airbus, the new aircraft has an enhanced range and provides greater comfort. The A350-1000 measures around 74 metres from nose to tail and is scheduled to enter service some time in 2017. The first plane will be delivered to Qatar Airways. A number of airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, have placed orders for the new A350-1000.
Airbus says that the A350-1000 is the longest-fuselage version of its new family of wide body jetliners. The A350-1000 will be able to seat a total of 366 passengers. Airbus says that its latest aircraft can be configured for a higher-density layout to accommodate up to 440 passengers. In its typical 3-class configuration, the Airbus A350-1000 will have 18-inch wide seats in the economy class. The A350-1000 has new cabin crew rest compartment improvements, new in-flight Entertainment (IFE), optimised lavatory shapes and new galley arrangements, claims the company.
— Airbus (@Airbus) November 22, 2016
The Airbus A350-1000 is powered by “higher-thrust” Trent XWB engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce. The engine will provide additional payload capability and range, along with 97,000 lbs. of thrust on take-off, Airbus says. The A350-1000 is a 7,950 nautical-mile-range aircraft with a wing span of 64.75 m and a maximum payload of 20.89 tonnes. Airbus claims that the A350-1000 offers a 25% lower operating cost than its similarly sized competitors. The latest aircraft from Airbus’ stable will take on the Boeing 777. The average list price of the A350-1000 for the year 2016 is $355.7 million.
Meanwhile, it was reported in March this year that Airbus is seeking airline support for a new 400-seat jetliner provisionally dubbed the A350-8000. Airbus is expected to aim its design at airlines that do not always require the performance needed for extreme Gulf conditions. “It would have similar capacity and range (as the 777-9) and substantially lower seat-mile costs,” Airbus sales chief John Leahy was quoted as saying.
The A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body) family, of which the A350-1000 is a part, was launched after a string of setbacks in 2006 to compete with Boeing’s mid-sized 787 Dreamliner and the larger 777. Boeing responded to the all-new jet by upgrading its existing 777 family to include the 777-9, one of a pair of jets also known as the 777X series. The new, bigger A350 would use a derivative of the latest Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
(With inputs from Reuters)