PHOTO: Clement Alloing.

LONDON — Cathay Pacific has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, registered B-LXA.

The aircraft departed Toulouse at 14:30 local time and will arrive into Hong Kong just short of 08:00 local the next day.

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The flight was fueled with alternative fuel systems provided by Airbus and Total, which has ultimately resulted in a biodiesel solution which the airline will be using for their A350 operations.

“We are proud to deliver the A350-1000 to our long-standing customer Cathay Pacific,” said Eric Schulz, Airbus CCO.

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“The combination of the world’s newest widebody and Cathay Pacific’s world-famous in-flight service will ensure that the airline can strengthen its position even further as one of the world’s leading international carriers,” he said.

Photo: Clement Alloing

Paul Loo, Cathay Pacific’s Chief Customer & Commercial Officer also commented that the airline “already has one of the youngest long-haul fleets in the sky, and with the arrival of the A350-1000, our fleet is only going to get younger.”

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“The A350-1000 has an incredible range, is remarkably fuel efficient and quiet, provides customers with an unsurpassed cabin environment and has extremely attractive operating economics,” he remarked.

Eric Schulz, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer pictured at a press conference regarding Cathay Pacific’s First A350-1000. PHOTO: Airbus

Cathay Pacific is now the second operator of the -1000, following Qatar Airways who became the launch customer earlier this year.

The -1000s will now join the airline’s 24 A350-900s, with another four -1000s coming over the next few years.

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According to Airbus, customers of the -1000 can enjoy a 25% advantage in fuel burn and CO2 emissions when operating the aircraft compared to previous variants and also to competitors.

Photo: Clement Alloing

The -1000 is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB Engines that produce over 97,000lbs of thrust.

The -1000 also features the recently advertised Airspace cabin, which will provide more personal space, more fresh air as well as controlled temperature and humidity.

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Airbus has boasted the -1000 to be the quietest twin-aisle cabin flying today.

Entry into Service

The delivered plane will begin operations with the carrier in September after crew training has been accomplished by the airline.

The aircraft will fly non-stop from Hong Kong to Washington-Dulles (IAD) from September 15 this year, becoming Cathay Pacific’s longest flight in their network.

Paul Loo, Airbus’ Chief Customer & Commercial Officer pictured at a press conference regarding Cathay Pacific’s First A350-1000. PHOTO: Airbus

The 8,153-mile journey will be the first direct Hong Kong service in IAD’s history. The flight will operate four times per week.

CX860 will depart Hong Kong at 18:35 and arrive into Dulles at 22:20 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The return, CX869 will depart Washington at 01:15 and arrive into Hong Kong at 05:10 the following morning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

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To date, 11 airlines have ordered 168 A350-1000s.

The A350-1000 shows a 95% level of commonality so transitions for pilots in training will be far easier and cheaper in training costs than if they are changing to a different aircraft type respectively.

This is another success for Cathay Pacific as it will be able to further streamline their carrier and establish themselves into a fleet of faster transition, efficiency and cheaper costs.