The Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has placed a firm order for 22 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, confirming its initial commitment signed last March. In addition, Aeroflot has signed a contract for the purchase of five additional A321s. Aeroflot will also operate a further ten new A330-200s, which will be acquired on operating lease.
The A350 XWBs, equipped with Rolls-Royce engines, will be used by Aeroflot to expand its long haul network, and introduce new routes. Aeroflot?s passengers will enjoy outstanding comfort and amenities in a highly advanced and spacious cabin. The A350 XWB will have the widest fuselage in its category.
?We are delighted that Aeroflot has chosen the all new A350 XWB for its next generation long-haul fleet, continuing our long-standing partnership well into the future. This aircraft is going to be set completely new standards in the next decade and beyond, carrying more passengers further, and with lower operating costs than any other aircraft in the 270 to 350 passenger market segment ?, Airbus President and CEO, Louis Gallois said at the signing ceremony.
Conceived from the outset as a family of aircraft, the A350 XWB will be available in three basic passenger versions, carrying between 270 and 350 passengers with ranges up to 8,500nm / 15,750 km, at a cruise speed of Mach 0.85. 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.
In addition to the A350 commitment, Aeroflot signed a firm contract for the purchase of five A321s for its medium-haul fleet modernization programme. Powered by CFM International CFM56-5 engines, Aeroflot?s A321s will feature a spacious and comfortable two-class cabin layout, and will be used to operate on European and domestic networks.
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 27 A320 Family aircraft, and is amongst the leading operators of the type in terms of operational reliability and daily utilization. The five additional A321s will bring Aeroflot's A320 fleet to 56 units by 2010.
The world's most profitable single-aisle A320 Family - comprising the A318, A319, A320 and A321 - has accumulated more than 40 million flight hours to date. Designed to optimise revenue through cabin adaptability and passenger comfort, the A320 Family features the most modern and complete fly-by-wire technology available on any single-aisle aircraft. The A320 Family ensures savings in every element of direct operating cost, and provides operators with the highest degree of operational commonality and economy for aircraft in the 100-220 seat category.
So far Airbus has more than 1100 aircraft in the A330/A340/A350 family range on order.
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