Finnair has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350XWB, OH-LWA (cn 018) an a flight from Toulouse to Helsinki. It is the first of 19 aircraft on order.
This makes Finnair the first airline in Europe to operate the A350, after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines started flying the type.
The Finnair A350 enters service amid much hype, and the airline will be flying it on a series of crew familiarisation routes on many of its European schedules from 9th October, before it enters service on long haul routes to the Far East from November.
The aircraft will join the airline’s all-Airbus fleet of 45 aircraft in operation, today comprising 30 A320 Family aircraft and 15 A330/A340s.
“Finnair has enjoyed a long and prosperous working relationship with Airbus and the A350 takes our cooperation to another level. This aircraft is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience,” says Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.
“At Airbus, we’re proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350 XWB,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350 XWB’s unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair’s Asian expansion.”
For a full list of Finnair’s short haul and long haul A350 routes, please visit our A350 Routes Page.
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News | Posted on 22-09-2015
SAS Airbus A330-300 Enhanced LN-RKR on delivery at Toulouse.
SAS Scandinavian Airlines System has become the first airline in Europe to take delivery of the Airbus A330-300 Enhanced model. This is the new 242-tonne variant of the aircraft which has an increased maximum weight and range, combined with a lower fuel consumption.
The first example for SAS, LN-RKR, was delivered from Toulouse on 16th September, and entered service on the Copenhagen to Chicago O’Hare route on 21st September.
This is the first of four new A330-300 Enhanced that will be added to the SAS fleet over the next six months. Another aircraft will be delivered in September and the remaining two in 2016.
Irish regional airline CityJet has unveiled its new branding and colour scheme as it transitions its business for future expansion.
Avro RJ85 EI-RJT is the first of the airline’s aircraft to receive the new branding, which features a new logo and a pair of red and beige curves sweeping down the fuselage.
The aircraft was unveiled at CityJet’s Dublin base by The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD. The airline’s Executive Chairman Pat Byrne said: “This is a new look for a new era as we continue to grow our passenger numbers and invest in our staff and fleet. Today is a special day as we bring CityJet forward with a new dynamic branding, which I would refer to as inside-out branding as it based hugely on what our staff across the airline determined it should be.”
CityJet separated itself from owners Air France in 2014 and since then has been redefining its business and looking at future expansion. It still operates codeshare services for Air France, and maintains a crew base at Paris, but is also now focusing on its Dublin and London City bases.
The airline, which operates a mix of RJ85 and Fokker 50 aircraft, is evaluating its future fleet needs. Both Bombardier CSeries and Embraer’s range of aircraft are under review.
With CityJet rebranded it is looking to further establish its links to mainland Europe from London City, as well as more growth on its UK-Ireland routes.
Cathay Pacific’s first Airbus A350-900 has appeared in the production hangar, and it won’t be long till delivery of the type to the airline. It currently has 22 -900s on order, and 26 of the longer A350-1000s.
Entry into service is expected in February 2016, and the airline has announced the first international routes.
Cathay Pacific A350 Routes
Hong Kong to Copenhagen
Hong Kong to London Gatwick
Hong Kong to Madrid
It is interesting that all are European destinations. Presumably the airline will undertake regional Asian routes for crew familiarisation
As always, keep an eye on our Airbus A350 Routes Page for a list of all the destinations served by different A350 operators.
SWISS will start taking delivery of its nine Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in March 2016. The aircraft will replace older long haul aircraft in the fleet, and will be used on the carrier’s longest routes, adding greater capacity and comfort.
The SWISS Boeing 777-300 will be used initially on the following routes:
Zurich – Montreal – Starts 27 March 2016
Zurich – Hong Kong – Starts 10 April 2016
Zurich – Los Angeles – Starts 9 June 2016
Zurich – Bangkok – Starts 8 July 2016
Zurich – Sao Paulo – Starts 1 August 2016
Zurich – Tel Aviv – Starts 28 August 2016
Zurich – San Francisco – Starts 1 September 2016
Here’s a nice video about the new aircraft from SWISS
By Peng Chen (Flickr: China ARJ-21) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The long-delayed Comac ARJ21 regional jet is to finally enter service in February 2016, eight years after its first flight.
Chengdu Airlines will be the first operator of the type, taking delivery of two examples later this year. They will undertake pilot training, before entering service on domestic regional flights from its home base. The airline, which is owned by Comac, will eventually take 30 of the smaller ARJ21-700 variants.
To date there are orders for 342 ARJ21-700s from carriers mainly situated in China and the Far East. The larget ARJ21-900 is still on hold, with no orders.
Despite this entry into service of the first two aircraft, Comac does not anticipate beginning the production until later in 2016 when the relevant certification has been received. It has also abandoned plans to have the aircraft certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after ongoing delays.
The Comac ARJ21 very much resembles the Douglas DC-9 and Boeing 717 in my eyes, and has similarities to the Bombardier CRJ. The ARJ21-700 model can carry up to 90 passengers and has a range of 2,000 miles in the ER version, making it ideal for covering the Chinese regional market.
The two aircraft expected to enter service with Chengdu Airlines are B-010L and B-938L (c/n 105 and 106 respectively). B-1110L (c/n 104) has also been part of the testing process.