LONDON – The first Japan Airlines (JAL) A350-900XWB has rolled out of the paint shop today and has been painted with a special red A350 logo on the fuselage.
The aircraft will now undergo it’s flights and ground tests before it is delivered to the airline in the early summer of this year.
It will be the first time JAL has operated and Airbus aircraft in its active fleet and it will also be the first A350 to operate for a Japanese carrier.
The A350-900 shown is the first of an order of 31 A350XWB aircraft that the carrier has ordered and will be used to serve on major domestic routes with the inaugural flight being operated on its Haneda – Fukuoka route from September, as the airline looks to replace its ageing widebody types.
It is believed that the A350-900 will be equipped with a tri-class cabin and will seat around 369 passengers, the aircraft will have 12 first class seats, 94 class J seats and 263 economy class seats all of which the airline has said will feature a redesigned interior and seating layout.
With the A350XWB receiving its certification from the Transport Ministry of Japan just two weeks ago, the aircraft now looks set to be delivered on time which is great news for JAL who are no doubt keen to see how well the aircraft will work in the Japanese market.
With some carriers still suffering issues with their Dreamliners engines, the success of the A350 with JAL could spark a move from other Pacific carriers to possibly either switch some of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner orders to the A350XWB.
It could even possibly even look to add the Airbus aircraft in as a second addition to their long haul widebody fleet, as these carriers continue to expand to deal with the ever-growing Asian Pacific market.
With Paris Air Show being currently very difficult to tell, as we approach the show in June, only time will tell who will side with who.