The first A350XWB for Singapore Airlines, registration 9V–SMA, will enter service in January between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur for crew training and familiarization purposes before starting service to Amsterdam from April 26.
Here is the first Singapore A350 while still under construction earlier this year.
This is the first of 63 A350-900s on order and will be delivered in January 2016. Airbus plans to deliver 11 A350-900s in 2016 to Singapore Airlines. The airline has amended the 63 -900s on order to 67 of which seven will be 900ULRs.
Fabrice Brégier, CEO of Airbus said that Airbus is studying another version of A350-900, which offers up to 19 hours of non-stop flight. “This is possible with a few minor changes to the aircraft. But it will be a new member of the A350 family, as the A350-1000.”
This aircraft will be known as the A350-900LR. It will enable Singapore Airlines to restart its nonstop flights to LAX and JFK, recapturing the world’s longest scheduled flights. Currently this held by Qantas (A380; DFW-SYD) which is soon to be eclipsed by Emirates (777LR; DXB-PTY).
Singapore Airlines previously deployed an A340-500 with 100 all business class seats on the nonstop USA routes. Dr Kiran Rao Airbus Head of Strategy is quoted as saying the A350 should be able to make the trip with 25% less fuel burn than older models at the expense of a less dense layout. The typical three-class seating on the A340-500 was 313 but Singapore Airlines cut that by two thirds for the nonstop flights. Singapore Airlines has not released any seat numbers for the A350ULR, but it is to be expected to have far fewer seats than the standard model. Airbus says around 170 seats for the Singapore Airlines A350ULR.
The enhanced A350LR is an impressive aircraft and demonstrates the basic design is flexible to enable this performance revision. The A340-500 had an MTOW of 372t and as we can see below the A350ULR is much lighter and can carry a lot more passengers on the same route. with Fabio Gigante