The second Airbus A350-900 for Finnair is taking shape. The manufacturer now released a photo that shows the aircraft during painting into the livery of the oneworld airline alliance. It will be the world’s first A350 in an alliance livery.
Finnair will be the first European airline to fly the A350 XWB and the third operator in the world.The world’s first operator was Qatar Airways, followed by Vietnam Airlines.
Finnair has 19 A350 aircraft on order, and expects to receive the first four by the end of this year. Another seven will be delivered in 2016 and 2017, with the remaining eight to be delivered between 2018 and 2023.
The carrier will operate the A350 on scheduled services to China, where Shanghai will be served with daily A350 service from 25 October 2015. Beijing follows with daily A350 service on 21 November 2015. Finnair’s peak-season frequencies to Bangkok will be served with a combination of A350 and modern, comfortable A330 aircraft from 4 December 2015. Daily services to Hong Kong from 1 February 2016 and to Singapore from 5 May 2016 will also be operated with a combination of A350 and A330 aircraft.
Before long-haul A350 operations begin, Finnair will conduct crew familiarisation flights throughout Europe during October. These regularly scheduled commercial services will be operated as usual within the Finnair network, just with an A350 rather than the usual narrowbody aircraft.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. As of the end of June 2015, the A350 XWB had won 781 firm orders worldwide from 40 customers.