Late last year we spent a fun couple of days flying long-haul with Finnair and interviewing the head of their flagship Airbus A350 fleet. But we never actually flew the A350 ourselves, since Finnair’s US routes were all handled by their older A330s. That changed a month ago, when Finnair re-launched flights to LAX after a long hiatus and gave the honor to the A350. Obviously we weren’t going to miss the chance to cover the inaugural, and the folks at Finnair gave us the chance.
The onboard product lived up to the hype, with universal aisle access, lie-flat seats, Nordic style, and even a northern lights simulation on the ceiling. And it was just as fun covering Finnair’s pre-flight festivities on the ground. Clearly this route was a big deal for the Finnair team, getting the honorific flight numbers AY01 and AY02.
Read on for the full scoop on Finnair’s (re)inaugural celebration of its service from Los Angeles to Helsinki.
We’re giving away a scale model of this Marimekko liveried Finnair A350 to a lucky reader! – Photo: Airbus & Finnair
During our trip to Helsinki with Finnair, we sat down for a chat with Sara Mosebar, Program Manager of the airline’s A350 fleet. Check out Part One of that interview if you haven’t already. Here in part two, we discuss Sara’s favorite airplane type (it’s not what you’d think it would be!), the best part about her job, and her message for young women who may be interested in aviation careers.
Just as importantly, we’re also going to give away a Finnair A350 scale model to a lucky reader! It’s adorned in a special Marimekko-designed livery. Read on for instructions on how you can qualify for the giveaway. Don’t worry — it’s easy to enter!
It’s not every day that you get to fly an aircraft model for the first time. But at long last, after my fair share of missed attempts, I finally got a chance to fly an Airbus A350. I’m a bit ashamed I hadn’t flown it sooner. Being based in San Francisco, it’s been easier to fly the A350’s contemporary — Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner — courtesy of United and its star alliance partners ANA and Air Canada. I was excited to see firsthand how the A350 would compare, and it definitely did not disappoint.
Read on for this AvGeek’s take on the joys of flying Airbus’ A350, and thoughts on how it stacks up against my time flying the 787. Some of the differences are a matter of math, some are slightly more subjective. And yes, we’ll even talk about the most contentious topic of all — window shades versus window dimmers!
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.
MORE: Photos + Video: First Airbus A350 Comes Out of Paint
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.