Japan Airlines became the A350 XWB’s first Japanese customer with a purchase agreement for 31 aircraft – composed of 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s. Image: Airbus
Japan Airlines (JAL) today announced that for the first time in the carrier’s history, they are making a purchase from Airbus. Previously, the airline had been an entirely Boeing customer, apart from operating some A300s they had for a short period of time after the merger with Japan Air System. JAL currently operates both their long-haul and domestic fleets with a mixture of 737s, 767s, 777s & of course the 787 Dreamliner.
The Airbus order was made up of 31 A350 XWB’s (18 of the 900 model, 13 of the 1000) with a further option of 25. This is also the first time that a Japanese airline has ordered the aircraft type.
Continue reading Images: Japan Airlines Makes Large Airbus Order
Qatar Airways to join Oneworld. Image: Qatar Airways
An announcement was made today (September 9th) that as of October 30th, Qatar Airways will be officially accepted in to the Oneworld Alliance of airlines.
Oneworld gave the official nod to Qatar after the final reviews and checks were completed by the alliance, in conjunction with British Airways, the sponsoring airline. The review process was completed in record time and with the admission date set for approximately one year after the invitation was announced, making it the fastest approval process for a Oneworld airline to date.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “In Qatar Airways’ relatively short history, we have quickly established a reputation for innovation, quality and excellence in everything we do. We are pleased to build on that by becoming the only major airline from the Gulf to date to be joining any of the global airline alliances. We are proud to entering the best of them, in Oneworld – and to be doing so in record quick time. We very much look forward to flying alongside some of the best airlines in the world from 30 October, bringing the heightened benefits offered by Oneworld to our customers.”
Continue reading Qatar Airways Set to Join Oneworld Alliance Next Month
The first flight of the Airbus A350-900. Photo from Airbus.
There is quite a bit that has to happen to make sure a new aircraft type has a successful first fight. While most of us were able to enjoy the first lift off from the outside, Airbus has shared quite a few of the details on what it was like to experience the first flight from the inside. Airbus uses photos, video and narrative to paint a detailed picture on the A350′s first flight and we wanted to make sure you do not miss it.
Learn and see more: A350 XWB Magazine: #03 “The Time is Here: The Time to Fly”
The Airbus A350 (MSN001) during its first flight. Image from Airbus.
Airbus flag waving from the flight deck of the A350. Photo by Chris Sloan.
An excerpt from Chris Sloan’s story on Airchive.com:
The first half of 2013 and has certainly been a busy year in the annals of commercial aviation. In January the worldwide fleet of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was grounded; not taking to the skies again until May. On Valentine’s Day, American Airlines and USAirways announced a blockbuster merger creating the world’s largest airline and effectively ending the legacy airlines consolidation game in the United States. In early March, Bombardier rolled-out the CSeries CS100, the first in a line of airliners that could not only be a game changing regional jet, but possibly challenge the Airbus A320 / Boeing 737 duopoly.
These headlines alone would make any year exceptional, but only midway through the year another major event loomed large. On June 14th Airbus embarked on flying for the first time what’s likely the last “totally clean sheet” large airliner for the rest of this decade – the A350 XWB. Even with roughly 2 days notice, there was absolutely no way I was going to miss this historic event. I, along with many had suspected June 13th or 14th would be “D-Day” for the A350 so I had my bags packed and reservations on hold just in case.
As we would learn later, Airbus had this week as a target for the last 9 months. Much has been already written about the A350 over the last 7 years and its maiden flight, I want this piece to take you with me on what it was like moment by moment to be there and witness aviation history. First, let’s go back to the future for a little A350 XWB refresher.
Learn more about the Airbus A350 and see photos of the first flight at Airchive.com