Airbus and Philippine Airlines announced at the Singapore Airshow a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for six A350-900s, with options for another six purchase which will support Philippine Airlines future long haul fleet.
Philippine Airlines further confirmed that its A350-900s will feature a premium three class layout and will operate on non-stop flights from Manila to the US west coast and New York, as well as new destinations in Europe.
The aircraft’s range allows Philippine Airlines to operate non-stop flights between Manila and New York (a distance of 8,000 nautical miles) year round with a full passenger load.
“After a thorough commercial and technical evaluation, the A350 came out on top in meeting our demanding requirements,” said Jaime J. Bautista, President & COO of Philippine Airlines.
“With the A350 we will be flying the world‘s most modern airliner, bringing greatly enhanced efficiency and superior passenger comfort. The A350’s range capability has been an important factor in our decision, enabling us to offer non-stop service on all our premium long haul routes,” Bautista added.
“We are pleased to welcome Philippine Airlines as the latest airline to select the all-new A350 XWB,” said Fabrice Brégier Airbus President & CEO. “The A350 XWB has set new standards, combining extra-long range capability with the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in the larger twin aisle category.”
Passengers flying with Philippine Airlines can look forward to the new levels of comfort offered by the aircraft, with a wider and quieter cabin, and more personal space for all.”–Fabrice Brégier
The A350 XWB is known as an environmentally friendly aircraft with aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. It delivers a 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.
The aircraft was also designed for passenger comfort with a roomy well-lit cabin space and an extra-wide cabin which allows more personal space in all classes of service, including 18-inch wide seats as standard in Economy class.
Airbus has received 777 firm orders to date for the A350 XWB from 41 customers around the world.
If You’ve Got It…
The A350 XWB strutted its wings during the Singapore Airshow after reaching the milestone of its first year of airline revenue service. Airbus states that bringing the aircraft to the region was appropriate in light of the aircraft’s popularity in the Asia-Pacific market.
Of the A350 XWB orders received to date, about one-third are from Asia-Pacific customers.
Joost van der Heijden, Airbus’ Head of Marketing for Asia, describes the A350 XWB as the “right aircraft” for Asia-Pacific.
“The A350 XWB’s higher capacity and lower seat-mile costs make it ideal to accommodate Asia’s strong traffic growth in the most profitable way, while its superior comfort and brand-new cabin provide additional passenger attractiveness in a competitive and comfort-sensitive Asian market,” van der Heijden says.
Asian carriers which have placed orders for the A350XWB include: AirAsia X, Air China, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Thai Airways International (THAI) and Vietnam Airlines—which received its first A350 XWB aircraft in 2015.
Growing, Growing, Grown
The A350-900 fleet in service around the globe is also growing.
The first airline to launch the A350 into service was Qatar Airways in January 2015.
In all, 15 A350-900 versions were delivered to Airbus customers by January 31 to four airlines on four continents: Qatar Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Finnair and TAM Airlines.
- The combined global fleet has flown more than 21,000 flight hours in service to 17 destinations around the world, with an average daily utilisation of 11.6 hours.
Singapore Airlines will soon to receive its first A350 aircraft. The airline was first to commit to the A350 XWB, with an agreement for 20 aircraft in 2006. Since that date its has increased its orders to 67 aircraft.
The Singapore Airlines A350 will feature its new Premium Economy cabin, and Singapore airlines has confirmed the introduction of state-of-the-art Thales Avant in-flight entertainment and High-Speed Wi-Fi on this aircraft.
Singapore Airlines’ orders include seven Ultra-Long Range versions of the A350-900, which will allow the airline to operate non-stop service to the U.S. West Coast and New York.
Designated as A350-900ULR (Ultra-Long Range), these specially configured aircraft include a modified fuel system to increase the fuel carrying capacity, and a corresponding increase in maximum take-off weight. The first deliveries of this model are planned for 2018.
Build-up is also underway for the A350-1000 aircraft at the A350XWB final assembly line in Toulouse, Airbus reports.
- The A350-1000 can carry up to 366 passengers in a typical three-class configuration, with Airbus’ economy class comfort standards of 18-inch-wide seats at nine-abreast.
- Its range of 7,950 nm would facilitate significant revenue-generating advantages for airlines. To date, the A350-1000 has received 181 orders from 10 customers around the globe.
To further build up excitement surrounding the A350 aircraft, Airbus coordinated a special Q&A with an Airbus A350 flight test engineer and a test pilot on Twitter under the hashtag #AskTheA350Crew. They answered questions from the public about various technical aspects of the aircraft, safety, and the passenger experience onboard.
This was my personal favourite:
It is indeed a very sexy airplane.
Clearly, airlines around the world agree.