Thursday, November 20, 2014

Airbus A350 makes first appearance in Japan.

On November 19th, Airbus Industrie brought the A350 to Japan for the first time as part of the new airplane's 11-day Asian Demo Tour. A350-941 F-WWYB, the fifth experimental aircraft, landed at Tokyo/Haneda's [HND/RJTT] Runway 34L at 1525 JST after a short hop from Seoul/Gimpo [GMP/RKSS]. Fitted with 42 business (four abreast; 1-2-1) and 223 economy class (nine abreast; 3-3-3) seats, this is the second test airframe to have a fully functional passenger cabin.

JAL staff welcome the first arrival of Airbus A350-941 F-WWYB at Haneda. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Japan Airlines [JL/JAL] welcomed the European planemaker's newest product at their Haneda hangars, where it will be shown off to related personnel and media. A sightseeing flight will be operated on November 20th for representatives from JAL, Japanese suppliers, and media. It will leave Haneda on November 21st for Hanoi/Noi Bai [HAN/VVNB], followed by visits to Bangkok/Suvarnabhumi [BKK/VTBS] and Kuala Lumpur/International [KUL/WMKK], before returning to Toulouse [TLS/LFBO].

On October 7th, 2013, JAL announced their historical first order (excluding the A300s that merger partner Japan Air System [JD/JAS] acquired) with Airbus for up to 56 A350s. Japan's second largest carrier has 18 A350-900s and 13 larger A350-1000s on firm order, along with 25 options, with deliveries starting in 2019 to replace the entire Boeing 777 fleet by 2025. JAL's 777 fleet currently consists of 13 777-300ERs, seven 777-300s, 11 777-200ERs, and 13 777-200s (three more to be retired in FY2014) (JAL retires first Boeing 777.). 25 787-8s (15 already delivered) and 20 787-9s will also help replace the 777 fleet.

The A350 received airworthiness type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on September 30th, followed by an approval for 370-minute ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engined OperationS) on October 15th. It became the first airliner to be approved for ETOPS beyond 180 minutes before entry into service. On November 12th, it received certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Common type rating for pilot training between the A330 has also been granted. First delivery to launch customer Qatar Airways [QR/QTR] is expected before the end of the year.

Reference: Airbus, November 17th. (in English)
Reference: Traicy, November 19th. (in Japanese)
Reference: Aviation Wire, November 19th. (in Japanese)

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