Airbus unveils its new Ultra-Long Range A350-900 capable of 19 hour flights.
The first A350-900 for Singapore Airlines has been revealed in the airline’s livery following completion of painting in Toulouse.
The aircraft is now set to move to the next stages of production, including the installation of engines and cabin furnishing, before starting ground and flight tests. The aircraft is scheduled for delivery to Singapore Airlines in the first quarter of 2016.
The new Airbus Ultra-Long Range (ULR) A350-900 is capable of 19 hour flights and Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch the world’s longest commercial passenger flight when it links Singapore with New York in 2018.
The airline tweaked its order for 63 A350-900s, by changing seven of them to the ULR version.
The ULR aircraft who’s wings are made in Broughton, will now be delivered to SIA with the increased capability.
In addition, the carrier has placed an additional order for four A350-900s, taking its total firm orders for the A350 XWB Family to 67.
“Optimized for non-stop flights to the US, the aircraft, designated A350-900ULR, will include a modified fuel system to increase the fuel carrying capacity, an increase in maximum take-off weight, plus aerodynamic improvements, enabling service to the US west coast, as well as to New York,” Airbus said in a statement.
Representing a distance of some 8,700 nautical miles, the New York service will be the world’s longest commercial passenger route, with an expected flight time of up to 19 hours.
“We are excited to be working with Singapore Airlines to re-launch its premium non-stop service to the US,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President & CEO. “The A350 is the perfect, flexible platform for such operations, offering unrivalled operating economics for the very longest routes,” he added.
The all-new A350 XWB entered commercial service earlier this year.
Airbus to date has 783 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 41 customers worldwide. Singapore Airlines is the largest customer for the A350 XWB in East Asia, with deliveries of its 67 aircraft now on order starting in the first quarter of 2016. Deliveries of the carrier’s A350-900ULR aircraft are scheduled to take place in 2018.