The Russian flag carrier Aeroflot signed today the Memorandum of Understanding for 22 Airbus A350XWB aircraft. Aeroflot's decision brings the total number of orders and commitments for the Airbus A350XWB to 248. Aeroflot will also further increase its Airbus fleet with ten new A330-200s, which will be acquired on operating lease.
Aeroflot was the first Airbus customer and operator in Russia, with A310s entering service back in 1992. It was also the first airline in the CIS to operate the A319 and A321. Aeroflot currently operates 26 A320 Family aircraft, and is amongst the leading operators of the type in terms of operational reliability and daily utilization.
"When we launched the A350XWB programme, we set our sights on a totally new aircraft, with the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort in the 270 to 350 passenger segment. This aircraft will meet the challenge of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations and increasing environmental concerns. The outstanding result is unprecedented comfort, combined with the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this category. We are delighted Aeroflot has chosen our aircraft for its next generation long-haul fleet", said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus COO.
Conceived from the outset as a family of aircraft, the A350XWB will be available in three basic passenger versions, carrying between 270 and 350 passengers with ranges up to 8,500 nm / 15,750 km, at a cruise speed of Mach 0.85. There will also be a freighter version as well as an extra long range passenger version. Moreover, the fly-by-wire A350 XWB will have handling and flight deck operational commonality allowing airlines to benefit from the Airbus family concept of cross crew qualification and mixed fleet flying.
According to its latest Global Market Forecast, Airbus estimates the demand for passenger and freighter aircraft in this category, for the next 20 years, at some 5,700 planes representing 41 per cent in terms of value of all new aircraft delivered above 100 seats.
So far Airbus has more than 1,100 aircraft in the A330/A340/A350 family range on order.
Airbus is an EADS Company.