Airbus have succeeded in winning a huge order from Japan Airlines. It is the first order with the European aircraft manufacture and a blow to Boeing as one of its largest 787 operators looks to include the A350 into its fleet.
Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWB aircraft (18 A350-900 and 13 A350-1000 airliners), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. This is JAL’s first ever order for Airbus aircraft.*
It is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB, confirming its continuing success with world leading airlines across the globe. JAL and Airbus aim for entry into service from 2019, with the airline’s A350 XWB aircraft gradually replacing its ageing fleet approximately over a six year period.
“We will utilize the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines.
“In addition to improving profitability with advanced aircraft, we always aim to deliver unparalleled services to customers with the latest cabin and steady expansion of our route network.”
“Japan Airlines is well known as one of the most preferred airlines in the world providing its passengers with an excellent flight experience. We sincerely welcome Japan Airlines as a new Airbus customer and feel honored by this first ever order from Japan for our all-new A350 XWB,” said Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus.
“It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us. This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us, JAL and Airbus.”
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. All A350 XWB models are equipped with the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
Over 70 percent of the A350 XWB’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53 percent), titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. In addition to innovative materials, the A350 XWB brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies and provides significant improvement in fuel efficiency compared with competing models.
To date, the A350 XWB MSN1 has completed around 300 flight test hours out of the campaign’s total 2,500 hours which are to be achieved by five flight test A350’s over the next 12 months. Entry into commercial service of the A350-900 is scheduled for the second half of 2014. With this latest commitment, Airbus has recorded more than 750 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 38 customers worldwide.
* Before the merger by Japan Airlines and Japan Air Systems (JAS), JAS ordered Airbus aircraft.