MIAMI — British Airways took off on its first Airbus A350-1000 flight. The maiden journey was carried by the brand-new aircraft on flights BA460/461 between London-Heathrow (LHR) and Madrid (MAD).

The airline’s CEO, Alex Cruz, confirmed that British Airways will operate its new flagship on the LHR-MAD rotation twice per day until September 2, which is when the plane is scheduled to operate its first long-haul service to Dubai (DXB).

The airline has officially become the world’s third A350-1000 operator, right behind Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific.

Once the second plane arrives in September, British Airways will launch it on flights to Toronto (YYZ), Tel Aviv (TLV) and Bangalore (BLR), starting in October, December, and February 2020, respectively.

British Airways has a further 17 Airbus A350-1000s on order and expects to receive all the aircraft by the end of 2022, which will partly replace some of its 33 remaining Boeing 747-400s, which are scheduled to be retired by February 2024.

The brand-new A350-1000s will feature a three-cabin layout, with 331 seats. This includes 56 Club World (Business Class) seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, followed by 56 World Traveler Plus (Premium Economy) seats right behind and there will be 219 World Traveler (Economy Class) seats on the rear of the plane.