14 OCTOBER 2013
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Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWBs (18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. This is JAL's first ever order for Airbus aircraft and is a breakthrough for Airbus in a market dominated by Boeing. The introductory problems of the 787 have not helped Seattle in a fiercely contested competition. Rolls-Royce supplies the engines.
To date, A350 XWB MSN1 has completed around 300 flight test hours out of a programmed total 2,500 hours which are to be achieved by five flight test A350s prior to service by Qatar Airways sometime later next year. Farnborough, July 2014, is likely to be the initial unveiling of the aircraft cabin, if anything like the same airline’s Dreamliner, outstanding.
In a typical three-class layout the A350-900 comfortably seats more than 300 passengers on routes as long as 8,100 nautical miles (nm). The A350-1000 is the largest member of the A350 XWB Family, seating 350 passengers on even longer missions up to 8,400 nm.
Over 70% of the A350 XWB's airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53%), titanium and advanced aluminium alloys.
With this latest commitment, Airbus has recorded more than 750 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 38 customers worldwide. www.airbus.com
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