ATLANTA — The first Airbus A350XWB destined for Delta Air Lines completed its first flight this morning in Toulouse, France. The aircraft (MSN 115), registered under French test registration F-WZGP, will soon be the flagship of the Delta fleet under the registration N501DN.

The aircraft took off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport this morning at 10:24 local, and almost immediately climbed towards the Bay of Biscay where it completed several hours of tests at a variety of altitudes.

Delta is scheduled to take delivery of N501DN in July, with entry into service coming in the fall. As the aircraft will be a first for Delta, they are expected to introduce the A350 into the fleet with several short proving runs before sending it on long-haul missions. Delta’s first A350 crew base will be Detroit where the A350s will replace outgoing 747s on routes such as Tokyo-Narita, Seoul, and Shanghai.

The A350 will be the launch airplane for Delta’s new all-suite business class product. The A350 will feature 32 business class suites, 48 Delta Comfort + seats, and 226 economy seats for a total of 306 passengers.


Currently, Delta’s second and third A350s are in final assembly in Toulouse, France. Their fourth A350 is scheduled to begin final assembly in early June.

Just this month, Delta follows the likes of United and American Airlines in deferring a portion of their A350 order. As part of an order for 30 A321 aircraft, Delta announced that four A350s due in 2018 will be deferred until 2019-2020. Delta is scheduled to take delivery of five A350s in 2017, followed by six more in 2018.