Updated: Jan 11
At a handover ceremony in Toulouse, France last Friday, Air France took delivery of their first Airbus A350-900 XWB (Extra Wide Body) Aircraft. On Monday, Boeing delivered SAUDIA's first 787-10 Dreamliner at a ceremony in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Last Friday, Air France took delivery of their first of 28 Airbus A350-900 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) aircraft on order. At a ceremony in Toulouse, France, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer handed over the aircraft to Air France Chief Executive Officer Anne Rigail and Benjamin Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of the Air France-KLM Group. According to the Airbus Press Release, the new aircraft will be deployed on transatlantic and Asian routes. The 324-seat aircraft is configured in three classes with 34 full-flat business class seats, 24 premium economy and 266 economy seats and is expected to deliver a 25% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions over previous generation aircraft. The A350 XWB has ultra-long-haul capability of up to 17,900km (11, 123 miles). Airbus states that the A350 XWB offers the quietest twin-aisle cabin, the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon-fiber fuselage and wings and fuel-efficient Trent XWB Rolls-Royce engines. As of August 2019, Airbus has received 913 firm orders for the aircraft type from 51 customers.
On September 27th, in an Air France press release marking the occasion, Air France CEO Anne Rigail stated,
“The arrival of a new aircraft is always a unique and highly emotional occasion in the life of an airline. Along with all Air France staff, we are extremely proud to welcome the Airbus A350, one of the world’s most efficient long-haul aircraft in terms of environmental, economic and operational performance. As from October 7, our customers will be able to discover optimal comfort and service on board these new cabins. The arrival of this first A350 marks a new phase in Air France’s fleet modernization strategy. Within 5 years, more than half of the company’s fleet will be made up of new-generation aircraft!”
The new aircraft named "Toulouse," will perform its first revenue flight on October 7th, 2019 with service from Paris- Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
Saudia Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA)
On Monday, (September 30th, 2019), Boeing delivered SAUDIA’s first 787-10 Dreamliner at a ceremony in North Charleston, South Carolina. The Boeing Press Release states that the new aircraft is the largest member of the Dreamliner family, and will complement SAUDIA’s existing 787-9 fleet. At the ceremony, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Director General of SAUDIA stated,
“SAUDIA operates a state-of-the art fleet equipped with the latest technology, and in addition to the airline’s existing 787-9 Dreamliners, is now adding the 787-10 variant which will further support future network growth plans. The airplane’s onboard cabin features, long range capability and the latest in technological advancements are among the many aspects of what makes the 787 highly popular with our guests.”
SAUDIA currently operates 13 787-9 Dreamliner and 33 777-300ER (Extend Range) aircraft. To date, Boeing has delivered over 30 of the aircraft to seven operators since it entered service last year. In comparison to the 787-9, the stretched 787-10 derivative offers 40 additional seats (in 2 class configuration), a 25% fuel savings per seats and reduced emissions. The aircraft has a range of 11,750 km (6,345 nautical miles) and can fly 95% of the world’s twin-aisle routes. According to the SAUDIA Press Release, the new 787-10 will accommodate 357 passengers, with 24 Business Class and 333 Guest Class (economy) seats.
Source(s): Airbus/Air France, Boeing/SAUDIA