Composite image of a Lufthansa Boeing 777-9X – Image: Lufthansa
Today, Lufthansa Airlines announced a major long-haul order split between the Airbus A350-900 and the Boeing 777-9X. The airline stated it would be adding at least 24 777-9X and 25 of the Airbus A350-900 to their fleet starting as early as 2016. The order is worth about $19 billion USD at list prices, although it is very likely that the airline received a substantial discount from both manufacturers.
Of course, the most interesting part of this order is the fact that Boeing has not officially launched the 777-9X.
A350 XWB (MSN1) First Engine Run, Toulouse, France. Photo by Airbus.
On Sunday, The first Airbus A350-900 (MSN1) successfully completed starting up its engines, making it one step close to flight. Although Airbus is not stating when the A350 will have its first flight, many are hoping it will be in time for the Paris Air Show, which will run from June 17-23.
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When the first flight occurs there will be six crew members on-board: two flight test pilots, one test flight engineer and three flight test engineers. The two test pilots will be Peter Chandler, an Experimental Flight Test Pilot with Airbus since 2000 and Chief Test Pilot since 2011 and Guy Magrin, an Experimental Flight Test Pilot with Airbus since 2003 and Project Pilot for the A350 XWB.
Airbus plans to deliver the first A350-900 XWB in the second half of 2014 to its launch customer: Qatar Airways.