Airbus breakthrough as Japan Airlines signs for A350
Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWBs (18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. This is JAL’s first ever order for Airbus aircraft. It is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB.
JAL and Airbus aim for entry into service from 2019, with the airline’s A350 XWBs gradually replacing its ageing fleet approximately over a six year period.
“We will utilize the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines.
In a typical three-class layout the A350-900 comfortably seats more than 300 passengers on routes as long as 8,100 nautical miles. The A350-1000 is the largest member of the A350 XWB Family, seating 350 passengers on even longer missions up to 8,400 nm. All A350 XWB models are equipped with the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
To date, the A350 XWB MSN1 has completed around 300 flight test hours out of the campaign’s total 2,500 hours which are to be achieved by five flight test A350’s over the next 12 months.
Entry into commercial service of the A350-900 is scheduled for the second half of 2014. With this latest commitment, Airbus has recorded more than 750 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 38 customers worldwide.