MIAMI — The first Airbus A350-900 for Japan Airlines (JAL) has taken off on its maiden flight from Toulouse.
The delivery of the first factory-fresh Airbus commercial airplane for the Japanese carrier is now imminent.
Back in April, the plane was spotted leaving the assembly line sporting the airline’s new celebratory livery.
Last week, however, the plane finally took off on its first of several test flights which need to be conducted before it is delivered to the Japanese carrier.
Currently, JAL operates an all-Boeing fleet, with an average age of 10.4 years. However, the airline previously operated a fleet of 22 Airbus A300-600Rs, inherited from the merger of Japan Air System.
The new order for Airbus planes consists of 31 A350s, of which 18 are of the smaller variant, whereas 13 are for the A350-1000.
According to the carrier, some of the new -1000s will replace some of its oldest Boeing 777s on domestic and international operations.
The carrier’s first A350-900 will be deployed on domestic flights from September 2019 and will be configured to seat 369 passengers in a three-class configuration.
JAL’s first A350 carries a special logo at the rear end of the fuselage. The plane is the 265th A350-900 to take to the skies out of the Airbus manufacturing center.
Japan Airlines is yet another new operator that will take its first A350 in 2019, joining Aeroflot, Air France, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, China Southern, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, and Scandinavian Airlines.
As of the end of April 2019, the A350 family has 893 firm orders, from 51 different customers. This makes it one of the most popular widebody families in aviation history.