MIAMI – Hong Kong Airlines received an A350-900 leased from AerCap, Airbus announced today. The aircraft is the first of four that will be delivered also on a long term lease.

Zhang Kui, Co-Chairman of Hong Kong Airlines showed his excitement with the delivery of the new aircraft:

We are excited to have the first A350 joining our modern and young fleet, which marks an important milestone in our transformation from a regional airline to an international carrier. This latest generation of long range aircraft will help boost our long haul route network and further strengthen our role as a home carrier of Hong Kong – the world’s aviation hub.

In addition to the superior operating efficiency provided with the new A350, our passengers will enjoy a new level of comfort and well-being including wider seats that offer a high level of comfort expected for long-haul travel, an all-new inflight entertainment experience and inflight connectivity. I believe our passengers will be thrilled with such exceptional experience

With the delivery, Hong Kong Airlines becomes the 15th airline to operate the twin aisle airliner. Their second A350-900 aircraft is scheduled for delivery in November 2017.

Hong Kong Airlines configured all their A350-900 with a Premium three-class layout including a total of 334 seats, comprising 33 in Business Class, convertible to lie-flat beds, 108 in Economy Comfort and 193 in Economy Class.

The A350-900 features the airline’s cabin products, including an entertainment system and full in-flight connectivity. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage, and wings, fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. It also has 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions and lower maintenance costs.

AerCap President and Chief Commercial Officer Philip Scruggs said:

AerCap is proud to deliver the first of four new A350 aircraft to Hong Kong Airlines. The aircraft will form the main pillar of Hong Kong Airlines’ growth plans into the next decade, enabling the airline to provide a level of service and fly to markets that were not possible prior to today. We wish our friends and partners at Hong Kong Airlines every success as they continue to grow their business.

After an initial period flying on regional routes, the carrier’s A350-900 will begin long-haul operations on December 18, 2017, flying on the new Hong Kong Airlines’ nonstop service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The inaugural flight to Los Angeles will mark a milestone since is the first time an Airbus A350 lands at LAX. Only American Airlines and Cathay Pacific currently fly nonstop between LAX and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Airlines will offer a four-time a week flight on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Beginning January 16, 2018, the carrier will upgrade frequency with daily flights.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 848 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers. With 287 firm orders for the A350 from carriers in Asia-Pacific, the region represents over a third of total sales for the type to date.

Also, AerCap has one of the largest Airbus A350-900 portfolios with a total of twenty-six owned and on order, delivering through 2019. Hong Kong Airlines will acquire 21 Airbus A350 XWB, including 15 purchased directly from Airbus and six on lease from third party lessors.