The latest member of Airbus’ market-leading widebody product line – the A350 XWB jetliner – took centre stage in the fast-growing Asian market during its successful 11-day demonstration tour, which was performed ahead of the first customer delivery, planned before year-end.
Using its MSN005 A350-900 developmental aircraft, Airbus debuted the A350 XWB – already a world traveler as a result of its certification and global route-proving campaigns – in five new Asian destinations: Seoul, Tokyo, Hanoi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, before it arrived back in Toulouse, France today.
Throughout this trip, Airbus underscored the highly-efficient widebody jetliner’s superior operating economics and high levels of passenger comfort, which was highlighted during the visits of key customers, invited airline guests, industry officials, journalists and bloggers.
More than 4,000 people came aboard the aircraft during its Asian stopovers, with 375 of them given the A350 XWB experience during demonstration flights.
Featuring the latest in aerodynamic design, advanced materials – including an airframe comprised of 53 percent composites – and fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 XWB offers a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn, as well as lower emissions and maintenance costs for operators.
Visitors to MSN005 also were able to experience first-hand the A350 XWB’s “xtra” wide cabin, which provides more personal space in all classes – including Airbus’ modern comfort standard of at least 18-inch-wide seats in economy, the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems, wide panoramic windows, large overhead stowage compartments and precise temperature control.
Even before its commercial service entry, the A350 XWB already is a star in the Asia-Pacific market, with approximately one-third of its 750 total orders coming from operators in this region – placed by such world-class carriers as AirAsia X, Air China, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways International and Vietnam Airlines.
The first A350-900 version is scheduled to be delivered to global launch customer Qatar Airways before the end of 2014, with the initial aircraft for Vietnam Airlines – which will become the second A350 XWB operator, and first in Asia – now in final assembly in preparation for a planned mid-2015 handover.
News:VietJet Air celebrates delivery of first aircraft2014-12-02 11:12:58
Vietnam’s VietJetAir has celebrated the delivery of its first A320 ordered directly from Airbus at a special ceremony in Toulouse today. The event was attended by top management from the airline, including Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and Managing Director Luu Duc Khanhm, and witnessed by Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Transport Pham Quy Tieu.
The delivery marks the start of a major expansion at the airline which will see it acquire up to 100 A320 Family aircraft, including 63 on firm order with Airbus. In addition, the airline has purchase rights with Airbus for another 30 aircraft and will lease seven more from third party lessors.
“The A320 has proven to be extremely efficient in service with VietJetAir and is a favourite with our passengers,” said Luu Duc Khanh, Managing Director, VietJetAir. “Based on this experience, we look forward to developing our business across the Asia-Pacific region, with the most economic and comfortable aircraft. We are delighted to celebrate this delivery as we embark on a new phase in our expansion.”
"This ceremony marks a new exciting milestone in our relationship with VietJetAir and with Vietnam, one of the fastest-growing markets in the world,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “We are confident that the reliable and proven A320 Family, combining the lowest operating costs with the highest levels of passenger comfort, will play a key role in enabling VietJetAir to fly to even greater heights.”
VietJetAir first took to the skies in 2011 and is the first private airline in Vietnam to operate domestic and international flights. Today, the carrier operates a fleet of 17 leased A320s on a network covering Vietnam and a growing number of destinations across Asia. The 63 aircraft already on firm order with Airbus comprise 14 A320ceo, seven A321ceo and 42 A320neo.
Offering the lowest operating costs in its class, the A320 Family is the world's best-selling single-aisle product line. To date, nearly 11,000 aircraft have been ordered and more than 6,200 delivered to over 400 customers and operators worldwide. The A320ceo and A320neo share over 95 percent airframe commonality, enabling seamless operation of the various models in a single fleet. The A320neo (new engine option) incorporates cabin innovations, new generation engines and Sharklets (large wing tip devices) which together will deliver 20 percent in fuel savings per seat by 2020.