The French airline took delivery of a first A350-900 at the Airbus delivery center in Blagnac. This is the first of an order of 28 copies.
On September 27, Air France took delivery of its first Airbus A350-900. The aircraft is part of an order for 28 aircraft made in September 2011. Air France should take delivery of three more Airbus A350 aircraft in 2019, three in 2020, eleven in 2021 and the rest of the 28 Airbus A350s by 2025.
Air France’s new aircraft is tri-class configured with 324 seats: 34 two meters full flat Business seats (Safran Seats Optima model), 24 Premium Economy seats (Recaro) and 266 Economy class seats (Safran Seats). Air France’s first A350 will enter commercial operation from October 7 and will be deployed to 6 destinations and 4 continents until the end of the summer season 2020: Abidjan (from October 7 to December 8, 2019, then from February 10 for the 2020 summer season), Bamako (from October 7 to December 8, 2019, then from February 10 for the 2020 summer season), Toronto (from October 27, 2019), Cairo (from December 9, 2019 ), Seoul (from December 9, 2019) and Bangkok (2020 summer season).
The Airbus A350-900 is also part of the environmental approach undertaken by Air France for many years: the aircraft consumes 25% less fuel, in particular thanks to its 67% lighter materials manufacture (53% of composites, 14% titanium), and has a reduced noise footprint of 40%. “The arrival of this first A350 is a new step in the modernization of the Air France fleet”, says Anne Rigail, General Manager of Air France. “In five years, more than half of Air France's fleet will be composed of new generation aircraft”.
The arrival of Air France’s first Airbus A350 is also marked by the revival of a tradition that had been lost at Air France: give a baptismal name to aircraft. The 28 Airbus A350s will all receive names from major French cities. And for the first of them, it was natural to name the aircraft after a city extremely related to aviation: Toulouse. In addition, Air France’s A350 also highlights the Air France logo, the hippocampus or “dragon tailed Pegasus”, born together with the airline company in 1933. It will be visible on winglets and on the sides of the A350's reactors.