Photo: Clément Alloing

MIAMI — The first Airbus A350-900 for Air France performed its maiden flight in Toulouse, France.

The carrier has an active order for 28 A350-900s, which will come into the airline’s fleet to replace all the elder A340-300s and retire some of the older Boeing 777s, of which Air France is the fourth largest operator for in the world.

Photo: Clément Alloing

Air France expects to receive its first A350 (F-HTYA • MSN331) next month. The airline will base the type at its Paris (CDG) hub and launch it on flights to Bamako-Senou Airport (BKO) in Mali, and Abidjan (ABJ), both of which will start on September 23, 2019.

Then, from November 25, Air France will operate the brand-new A350 daily between CDG to Toronto (YYZ).

Photo: Clément Alloing
Photo: Clément Alloing

Air France also plans to operate the A350 between CDG and Seoul-Incheon (ICN) on a one-off basis, on March 29, 2020. The airline will announce more A350 routes in the coming weeks and months.

The French carrier’s A350s will feature 324 seats, in a three-class configuration: 34 in Business class, 24 in Premium Economy and 266 in Economy.

The airline has also confirmed that the new A350-900s will come with an all-new cabin, including a brand new Business Class, featuring the Zodiac Optima seats—the same model United Airlines uses in its Polaris product.

Photo: Clément Alloing
Photo: Clément Alloing

In addition to the incoming A350s, Air France recently placed a blockbuster order for 60 Airbus A220-300s. The carrier also plans to retire all its Airbus A380s by 2022 and are currently evaluating a replacement aircraft type.