As Airbus A350XWB (Xtra widebody) customers freeze aircraft interior configuration plans, the European manufacturer hopes to limit cabin furnishing options for the new twin-aisle twinjet in order to keep final-assembly lines flowing as it accelerates production rates during a steep industrial ramp-up.
Airbus has begun airline crew training for its A350XWB customers about six months ahead of the new twin-aisle twinjet’s entry into service, scheduled for late this year, according to chief test pilot Peter Chandler, who flew the aircraft on its maiden flight in June 2013. He reports that the training syllabus has been developed and that the first A350 pilot course was under way last month, with access to a full flight simulator. Launch customer Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have received demonstration flights.
The fifth and final Airbus A350-900 flight-test article took to the skies for the first time Friday, marking the start of the last phase of the 2,500-hour certification program. The second passenger cabin-equipped A350, MSN005 embodies the “operationally definitive” configuration for flight test duties, said Airbus. Plans call for it to perform route proving and ETOPS validation ahead of certification in the third quarter of this year and first delivery to launch customer Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter.
Airbus A350-900 flight test aircraft MSN3 has completed hot weather testing in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates, Airbus announced Wednesday.
Emirates Airline has cancelled its order of 70 A350 XWBs, Airbus confirmed on Wednesday. The Dubai-based carrier originally placed the order for 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s in 2007. It had planned to take first delivery in 2019.
At face value, the recent acquisition of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) from Mubadala Development Co. by Etihad Airways is straightforward portfolio realignment between two state-owned entities in the United Arab Emirates.
Azul Airlines plans to fly internationally for the first time between São Paulo, Brazil, and several cities in the U.S., starting early next year, the Brazilian regional airline announced Wednesday.
Airbus has added Recaro and Sogerma passenger seats to the A350 supplier-furnished equipment catalog, which includes seats, galleys, cabin “monuments” and other items, but hopes to limit furnishing options to keep assembly lines flowing, officials said at the company’s unveiling of the airplane’s interior in Hamburg on April 7. It also emphasized increased width in the A350’s twin-aisle fuselage–thus boosting a claimed advantage over the competing Boeing 787–and confirmed that the twinjet will accommodate 10-abreast seating.
Loss-making Kuwait Airways has placed its first order for new aircraft in 20 years with a conversion of a commitment covering 10 A350-900s and 15 A320neos worth some $4.5 billion at list prices. The state-owned airline expects first delivery of the new airplanes in 2019. It now operates three A320s, three A310s, five A300s and four A340s.
L-3 Link Simulation & Training (Booth U75) has announced that its operation in Crawley, U.K., has been awarded a contract by Cathay Pacific to deliver two Airbus A350 full-flight simulators, two pilot transition trainers and multiple flight management system (FMS) trainers.
Cathay Pacific will install the equipment in its flight-training center at Hong Kong International Airport. It plans full operation of all systems during the third quarter of 2015 to support A350 fleet introduction the following year.