DALLAS – The first preliminary flight of ITA Airways’ (AZ) new A350-900 aircraft has taken place at Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters.
According to the Italian flag carrier, the new A350-900 will join the airline’s fleet in June 2022. One of the airline’s main priorities was the Airbus A350, which was critical for its long-haul strategy. The type will fly on new intercontinental routes connecting Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo.
The Airbus A350 comes in two versions, and AZ chose the 900, which has 315 seats in a three-class layout. Marcello Lippi, the coach who led the Italian national soccer team to victory in the 2006 World Cup, was honored with the aircraft’s name.
The airline stated that the arrival of the flagship aircraft would “enable the company to offer modern, environment-friendly aircraft featuring cutting-edge technology.”
ITA Airways’ First Airbus A350
The airline’s new A350s previously belonged to the Chinese carrier, Hainan Airlines (HU). However, due to financial difficulties, the jets were never delivered to the Chinese airline. AZ decided to lease six Airbus A350s for long-haul flights to complete its fleet revamp, cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25% with the new types.
The newly-painted aircraft is a brand-new Airbus A350-900 that was manufactured in 2018 and has never been in operation. The type will become AZ’s flagship and the largest in the existing fleet and used for intercontinental trips.
According to airfleets.net, AZ has 18 A319-100, 30 A320-200, and seven A330-200 in its fleet, apart from the new A350-900.
Featured image: ITA Airways’ Airbus Fleet. Render: Airbus