Airbus has released the first A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways. The A350 XWB is the manufacturer’s latest generation widebody airliner.
Powered by ultra-fuel-efficient and reduced-noise Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and an extra-wide, bright and spacious cabin, the A350 XWB aims to provide both comfort, operating efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker commented, “Receiving the A350 XWB as global launch customer is a very proud moment for Qatar Airways, and after much anticipation, I am delighted that the day has come when we will welcome this latest generation aircraft into our rapidly expanding fleet.
“In the seven years since we first placed our order for this new aircraft type at the Paris Air Show, investing in a partnership programme with Airbus, there has been significant growth in the airline industry.
“I am confident that this increase in passenger numbers around the world will only increase further in the years to come, and I am delighted that Qatar Airways will be leading the way in the aviation sector in offering our passengers the opportunity to travel on board the most modern of airliners in the sky.”
John Rishton, CEO of Rolls-Royce added: “We are very proud to have worked with Qatar Airways and Airbus on the A350 XWB, using the latest technology to deliver new standards in customer service. This is a very important day for everyone at Rolls-Royce.
“It is the culmination of years of hard work and the start of a new chapter for our business.”
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO said: “Handing over the first A350 XWB represents a significant step in Airbus and aviation history. The A350 XWB becomes the most modern aircraft in service, developed with our excellence established over 45 years in meeting our customers’ needs.
“The A350 XWB is the latest Airbus aircraft to join the skies, revolutionising our industry and redefining the way people fly. It is with tremendous pride that we are delivering our first A350 XWB today to our launch customer, Qatar Airways. It’s a perfect match, to be handing over the first of an all-new, world class aircraft to a leading, world class airline.”
The A350 XWB fits alongside Qatar Airways’ growing fleet of A380s and A330s, making the carrier the world’s first airline to operate each member of Airbus’ Widebody Family.
The A350 XWB is the latest addition to the Airbus Widebody product line. Offering its customers a reduction in fuel-burn, the all-new mid-size long-range A350 XWB has carbon fibre fuselage and wings.
At the end of November 2014, the A350 XWB had won almost 800 orders from more than 40 customers worldwide.