Airbus’ A350 XWB is taking centre stage week at the Singapore Airshow, previewing what will soon become a familiar sight in this region’s airports and skies after the next-generation jetliner enters service starting later this year.
Asia-Pacific represents the A350 XWB’s largest customer base by number of airlines, with 11 carriers ordering 244 aircraft comprising all three family members: from the shorter-fuselage A350-800 version to the cornerstone A350-900 and higher-capacity A350-1000 variant.
“With some 30 per cent of the total A350 XWB backlog coming from Asia, this next-generation widebody jetliner product line clearly meets the requirements of the region’s operators,” said Mike Bausor, the A350 XWB Marketing Director at Airbus. “Asia-Pacific airlines will soon shape the efficiency of future air travel with this all-new aircraft, which provides unmatched fuel efficiency, while offering superior comfort for passengers.”
In terms of quantity of aircraft ordered, two of the Airbus’ top-five worldwide A350 XWB customers are based in the region: Singapore Airlines, with 70 firm orders for A350-900s; and Cathay Pacific Airways, which has booked 46 A350 XWB jetliners (20 A350-900s and 26 A350-1000s).
The A350 XWB also received a key endorsement in Asia from Japan Airlines, the nation’s flag carrier which ordered 31 A350 XWB aircraft covering A350-900 and A350-1000 variants in 2013, marking the aircraft’s first Japanese order.
Further highlighting the A350 XWB’s appeal with leading airlines around the world, other Asia-Pacific A350 XWB customers include: AirAsia X, Air China, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways International and Vietnam Airlines.
With 814 orders from 39 worldwide customers through January 2014, this Asian success contributes to the A350 XWB’s global popularity. Airbus booked 239 new orders for this next-generation widebody in 2013, maintaining the aircraft’s momentum for its planned certification and service entry later this year.