Industry First two Chinese mainland airlines receive maiden A350-900 XWB

  • Airbus

Sichuan Airlines and Air China have both received their first Airbus A350-900 XWB long-range aircraft.

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After months of delay, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has finally issued the validation of the type´s airworthiness for the A350 XWB aircraft in China. This means, that Chinese airlines will now be able to take delivery of their first A350-900 aircraft.

Air China and Sichuan Airlines have both seen their first XWB aircraft delivered this week during respective ceremonies at Toulouse.

Sichuan Airlines´s first A350-900 features a special panda livery. The aircraft was leased through AerCap and can accommodate 331 passengers in a two-class configuration. 28 business class seats and 303 economy class seats are available. Initially, the carrier aims at operating the aircraft on domestic routes. Following the familiarisation, Sichuan Airlines will deploy the aircraft on international routes.

© Airbus

The national flag carrier of China, Air China, will fit 312 passengers in its A350-900. The airline has decided to install three travel classes with 32 seats in business class, 24 in premium economy and 256 in economy class. Just like Sichuan Airlines, Air China will also deploy the aircraft on domestic routes first. This will allow the crew to learn and internalize all processes of working with the aircraft.

Both aircraft are being powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Last month, Rolls-Royce announced, that it has delivered the 500th Trent XWB engine to an A350-900 operator.

Furthermore, the new A350-900 XWB features a newly designed cabin that provides better ambience. The aircraft consists of a carbon fibre fuselage and wings, representing the usage of environmentally more friendly composite materials. With other latest technologies, the state-of-the-art aircraft is said to perform with good operational costs.

At the end of July 2018, Airbus noted a total of 890 firm orders from 46 worldwide customers for its successful A350 XWB program.

Sichuan Airlines is a Chinese carrier, that operates with an all-Airbus fleet of 136 aircraft. 123 A320 Family aircraft, 12 A330s and one A350-900 belong to the fleet. The regional airline was founded in 1986 and has its headquarters at Chengdu International Airport.

Air China is the flag carrier of China and was founded back in 1988. The carrier is member of the Star Alliance and flies to over 200 worldwide destinations. The fleet consists of 202 Airbus aircraft and 205 Boeing aircraft.

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