Airbus A350 XWB test aircraft will make its China debut touring the cities of Haikou (HAK), Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (SHA), Guangzhou (CAN) and Chengdu (CTU), from October 29 to November 8. The eleven-day trip also includes static and flight displays at the Zhuhai Airshow.
Featuring a distinctive “Carbon Fibre” signature livery to reflect its primary construction from advanced composite materials, the aircraft (MSN2) is one of Airbus’ fleet of five A350-900 test aircraft and one of two with a fully functional cabin configuration (42 business class and 210 economy class seats). The flights will be operated by an Airbus flight-test crew.
The A350 XWB has received valuable endorsements from several Chinese customers. China Eastern Airlines ordered 20 A350-900 aircraft in April 2016. Air China ordered 10 A350-900s with its first delivery scheduled in 2017. In September, Sichuan Airlines signed a Letter of Intent for leasing four A350-900s. The unrivalled operational performance and cabin comfort of the A350 XWB will give Chinese airlines a competitive edge and attract more passengers on international routes. China is one of the fastest growing markets for air transport and Airbus has supplied 50 per cent of the in-service commercial aircraft fleet over 100-seat in the country.
China’s aviation industry has made important contributions to the development and manufacture of the A350 XWB. Some five percent of the airframe is manufactured in China. The A350 XWB is a symbol of strategic industrial cooperation between Airbus and China’s aviation industry.
The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The spaciousness, quietness, beautiful interior and ambient lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of comfort and well-being, setting new standards in terms of flight experience for all passengers.
To date, Airbus has received 810 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 43 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. By the end of September, a total of 41 A350 XWBs are in service with nine customers.