JAL, Airbus Announce Landmark $10 Billion Order for 31 A350 Jets
Japan Airlines announced that it has signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWB aircraft. The order consists of 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s, plus options for an additional 25 aircraft. Airbus plans to start delivery of the new aircraft, which is intended to compete with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, to customers starting in 2014.
The A350-900 is configured with 314 seats in a three-class structure. Its high fuel capacity makes possible trips as long as 8,100 nautical miles. The A350-1000 is the largest A350 XWB aircraft and can seat 350 passengers on trips up to 8,400 nautical miles. Both models are powered by the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine.
Nearly three quarters of the A350 XWB’s airframe is comprised of light-weight materials, including composites, titanium, and aluminum alloys. The aircraft was designed to be more aerodynamic and, as a result, achieves improved fuel economy ratings compared with competing models.
The agreement marks not only JAL’s but the first ever Airbus order from a major Japanese airline. JAL plans to introduce the aircraft into its fleet over a six-year period, slowly replacing its current aging fleet.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)