China Airlines, Taiwan's largest carrier, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Airbus for the acquisition of 14 A350-900 plus an additional six on option. The new generation medium capacity long-haul aircraft has been selected as part of their future fleet modernisation programme.
China Airlines intends to start using the all-new A350 XWB from 2015. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, especially developed for the A350 XWB.
The A350 XWB will primarily be deployed on the airline's long-haul routes to Europe, Australia and the United States, enabling China Airlines to offer its passengers non-stop service on ultra long routes.
Chairman of China Airlines, Ringo K .S. Chao, said the decision to select the A350 XWB was taken after a long and thorough evaluation. "We are committed to procure the aircraft with the most modern technology and offering the highest cost efficiency for our future fleet requirements. This will allow us to offer our customers the most attractive product and to meet the ever-rising cost of fuel. The Airbus A350 XWB fully meets our requirements".
"We are extremely pleased with China Airlines' new vote of confidence in our future generation eco-efficient aircraft", said John Leahy, Airbus' Chief Operating Officer-Customers. "The A350 XWB will enable China Airlines to meet the industry challenges of the future and to secure a strong position among the world's top tier airlines".
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is Airbus' response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium capacity long-range wide body aircraft. With a range of up to 8,300 nm/15,400 km, the A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. Powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines delivering each up to 92,000 lbs of thrust, the A350 XWB Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations and environmental concerns.
Airbus is an EADS company.