MIAMI — The first Airbus A350-1000 for British Airways has been spotted in Toulouse, France, showcasing the airline’s livery in all its glory.
British Airways is set to become the second European and UK-based airline to operate the largest variant in the A350 family, following Virgin Atlantic, who is on track to become the first operator of the type in the continent.
British Airways expects to receive 18 A350-1000s, starting from July 2019. This order was placed by IAG in 2013, consisting of 18 planes plus 18 options.
The A350-1000 order comes in addition to 18 Boeing 787 options which the conglomerated had previously committed to.
The airline is planning to replace its aging Boeing 747-400s with the brand-new incoming planes. British Airways has noted that the retirement of the Queen of the Skies will take between four to five years, ending in 2023.
The carrier’s brand-new A350s will be powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. According to IAG, the order includes a comprehensive maintenance package with total care agreement.
Today, the aircraft rolled out of the paint shop. This airplane will bear the registration G-XWBA when delivered to the British carrier.
The airline has set out a three-stage program for the A350 deliveries. The first phase will see the A350s fly short-haul between London and Madrid to familiarize pilots and cabin crew with the new aircraft and to perfect the delivery of customer service.
The second phase, which will launch on October 1 this year, will see long-haul operations begin.
At this stage, another three A350 aircraft should be delivered, meaning that two Boeing 777 aircraft can go into the hangars for the retrofit of the new ‘Club Suite’ cabin, which will be unveiled on the first A350-1000.
New Cabin Inside
British Airways has confirmed that its new premium cabin product will be unveiled on the first of its Airbus A350s.
The new suite on the Club World cabin will offer direct-aisle access, greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration offering 56 seats in this area.
It also offers customers up to 40% more storage, Wi-Fi, 18.5″ inflight entertainment screens, high definition gate-to-gate programming as well as PC/USB power sockets.
On top of the 56 seats in the Club World cabin in a 1-2-1 configuration, there will be 56 seats in World Traveller Plus as well as 219 seats in World Traveller (Economy).
Stay tuned for more British Airways A350-1000 news.