Industry Air France receives first Airbus A350 XWB

Flag-carrier Air France has officially taken delivery of its first Airbus A350 XWB. A delivery ceremony was held at Airbus´ headquarters in Toulouse, France.

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The first A350-900 for Air France was delivered in attendance of Anne Rigail, Air France Chief Executive Officer, Benjamin Smith, Air France-KLM Group Chief Executive Officer and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer.

It is the first of 28 A350 aircraft to be delivered to Air France. The order originates from June 2013, where the flag-carrier announced it will use the aircraft to renew its fleet. Years later, the airline said that low-cost subsidiary Joon and KLM would take over some of the aircraft. But after the project Joon failed, Air France released in June this year that the airline would become the sole operator of the A350s. In return, KLM will take over some of the 787´s, that were due for Air France.

A total of 324 passengers can be accommodated on the new aircraft. It features a comfortable three-class layout with 34 seats in business class, 24 in premium economy and 266 in economy. Air France will use its A350s on transatlantic routes and on routes to Asia. Before that, the carrier is expected to test the aircraft on European routes to London.

Manufacturer Airbus stated, that the delivery flight from Toulouse to Paris will be powered with a blend of conventional and synthetic biofuel, underlining both the manufacturer´s and airline´s commitment to the environment.

The A350-900 will provide Air France with a 25% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions. It furthermore features new aerodynamical advantages and state-of-the-art technological instalments. Together with the high-bypass ratio Trent XWB engines, the aircraft delivers 25% lower operating costs as well.

At the end of August this year, Airbus counted 913 firm orders for its A350 XWB family, which consists of the A350-900 XWB and A350-1000 XWB. 51 customers worldwide have ordered an A350, which makes the aircraft one of the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, said Airbus.

With the A350, Air France is able to offer operational flexibility and efficiency for all market segments. The A350 can fly routes to several markets, up to ultra-long-haul markets that require a range of 17,900km. The new and quiet cabin enhances the passenger experience remarkably.

Air France is the flag-carrier of France and currently operates an Airbus fleet of 143 aircraft, including 114 single-aisle and 29 wide-body aircraft. Recently, the AF-KLM group signed a deal to order up to 60 A220 aircraft. The aircraft will join the fleet over the next years.

Air France A350 XWB delivery ceremony © Airbus

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