MIAMI — The first Airbus A350-900 for Singapore Airlines has successfully performed its first test flight, ahead of its delivery in the coming weeks. The airline is set to become the second Asian carrier to fly the A350 after Vietnam Airlines, and the fifth operator in the world of the type.
Singapore Airlines will rely on the A350 as the mainstay for its mid-size widebody fleet. According to Airbus, the airline has placed orders for 67 A350-900, including an ultra-long-range ULR) variant to resume non-stop services from its hub at Changi airport to Los Angeles and Newark. Those routes were previously operated with A340-500 aircraft, but were dropped in 2013 due to high fuel costs and low load factors.
Inside Singapore Airlines’ A350
The first ten Singapore A350s will be configured with 42 business class seats, plus 24 seats in premium economy and 187 in economy.
The cabin products are near identical to those found in Singapore Airlines newly fitted Boeing 777-300ERs. The Business Class seats will be arranged in a four abreast, 1+2+1 configuration, giving all passengers direct aisle access.
The premium economy cabin will feature a 2+4+2 layout, and it will offer the same product available in some of their A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs.
The Economy Class cabin will be arranged in a 3+3+3 abreast seating, similar to the product offered by Finnair in its A350s as well.
After delivery, Singapore Airlines will carry out crew familiarization flights between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta before starting its 13-hour service from Singapore to Amsterdam, expected to start on May 9. Dusseldorf will follow suit with three A350 flights a week from July 21.