Airbus today said it will build an Airbus A350 with so much range that it will be able to fly nonstop between Singapore and the United States, a distance so long that no airliner currently flies it.
Not surprisingly, Singapore Airlines will be the launch customer. It estimates it will take delivery in 2018, which will allow it to restart flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York. [Previous flights to those cities ended in 2013, when Singapore got rid of the only aircraft that could make the flight, the gas-guzzling Airbus A340-500.] These special A350s will have a range of 8,700 nautical miles, according to Airbus.
While we will have to wait three years before Singapore gets its long-range planes, other airlines have already started flying the first version of the A350. Qatar Airways was the launch customer and Finnair picked up its first aircraft on Oct 7.
Finnair created a P.R. video to celebrate its first A350, and I have embedded it above. Enjoy.
Curious about the perks of Finnair's A350? The company gave these highlights in a release:
- Ambient mood LED lighting that gradually changes to suit the time of day, destination or season - even recreating the Northern Lights from within the cabin
- Tableware and textiles specifically designed by iconic Finnish design house Marimekko for Finnair add a distinct, light Nordic touch to the cabin
- Passengers will benefit from noticeably cleaner and fresher cabin air thanks to the advanced air filtering system which changes the cabin air every 2-3 minutes.
- Draft-free air conditioning, adjustable temperature zones, and the cabin air pressure, which is closer to the sea level air pressure, adds to greater passenger well-being and comfort; In addition, passengers will also enjoy a quieter flight than on previous aircraft.
- New engines, created by Rolls Royce exclusively for Airbus, reduce noise both inside and outside the airplane, making it easier to rest onboard
- Female passengers in Business class can take advantage of a dedicated Ladies' Room, which is stocked with cosmetics and other supplies.
Have you flown on the A350? If so, how was it?