United Airlines (Chicago) and Airbus (Toulouse) have announced that the airline will add 35 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to its future fleet. The agreement between the companies represents a conversion of the U.S. carrier’s previous order for 25 A350-900s to the -1000 model, as well as the addition of 10 more orders for A350-1000 aircraft. The announcement was made today during the Paris Air Show.
The A350-1000 is the largest version of the A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family and typically seats 350 passengers in a three-class layout. The aircraft is capable of flying 8,400 nautical miles non-stop and will be operated by United on higher density routes, including non-stop flights between the United States and the Asia/Pacific region. The aircraft will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines delivering 97,000lbs of thrust – the most powerful engines ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.
The A350 XWB is an all-new mid-size long range product line featuring three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. The aircraft will bring new levels of efficiency to the mid-size market, using 25 per cent less fuel than existing aircraft in this size category and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions.
The first A350 XWB began an extensive flight test program last Friday, June 14th. Entry into commercial service of the first customer aircraft is scheduled for the second half of 2014.
To date, Airbus has recorded 678 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 34 customers worldwide.
The increased seating capacity of the A350-1000 will enable United to replace older, less efficient aircraft currently serving long-range, high-demand markets. United expects delivery starting in 2018.
The Airbus order supports United’s commitment to improve the overall efficiency of its fleet. On Tuesday, the airline announced an order for 10 Boeing 787-10 aircraft and conversion of 10 existing 787 orders to the -10 variant, making United’s total Dreamliner order book 65. In July of last year, United announced a narrowbody order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and 50 Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft. The airline is also modernizing its United Express fleet by adding seventy 76-seat Embraer aircraft that will be operated by regional partners.
Top Image: Airbus.
Video: Here is the second flight of the Airbus A350 at Toulouse:
Bottom Image: United.