Photo: S. RamadierReading Time: 2 minutes
Airbus’ flight test A350-1000 jetliner is back home after a demonstration tour to Middle East and Asia-Pacific destinations, a three-week trip that underscored all the attributes this largest A350 XWB version brings in upsized efficiency, maximum reliability and unique passenger comfort for fast-growing regions of the global airline marketplace.
More than 10,000 persons had the opportunity to visit the A350-1000 during its 12 stopovers during a tour that logged 87 hours aloft while covering 64,000 kilometres – the equivalent to traveling around the Earth 1.6 times.
The demonstration tour provided airline customers, VIPs, journalists, social media personalities, industry influencers and enthusiasts alike the opportunity to discover the latest member of the A350 XWB Family ahead of its upcoming entry into service.
The tour’s first stop: Doha and A350-1000 launch customer Qatar Airways
Retaining significant commonality with the successful in-service A350-900 version, the A350-1000’s fuselage has been stretched by seven metres – providing greater capacity (40 more seats in a typical three-class cabin configuration) and perfectly matching airlines’ needs on their busiest long-haul routes while giving the flexibility to provide a larger premium seating area.
The A350-1000’s demonstration tour began on 26 January, with Doha, Qatar as its first destination. This visit was highly appropriate, as Doha-based Qatar Airways will be the first airline to introduce the new aircraft, joining the airline’s growing fleet of A350-900s.
Next on the tour were visits to Oman, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Hanoi and Singapore, where the aircraft was displayed at the 2018 Singapore Airshow. After an extended stopover, the jetliner then flew to Bangkok, Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo and Manila before returning on 16 February to Airbus’ headquarters operation – and location for the A350 XWB final assembly line – in the Toulouse region of southern France.