Airbus has delivered the first A350-900 ultra-long-range aircraft to launch customer Singapore Airlines.
The aircraft is being prepared for flight and is scheduled to depart Toulouse for Singapore later.
The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB is capable of flying further in commercial service than any other aircraft, with a range of up to 9,700 nautical miles, or over 20 hours non-stop.
Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 ultra-long-range aircraft, configured in a two-class layout, with 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy class seats.
Singapore Airlines will begin operating the A350-900 ultra-long-range on October 11th, when it will launch non-stop services between Singapore and New York.
With an average flying time of 18 hours and 45 minutes, these will be the world’s longest commercial flights.
Following New York, the aircraft will enter service with SIA on two more non-stop transpacific routes, to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“This is a proud moment for both Singapore Airlines and Airbus, not only because we have again strengthened our partnership, but also because we have pushed the limits with this highly advanced new aircraft to extend long-range flying to new lengths,” said Singapore Airlines chief executive, Goh Choon Phong.
“The A350-900 ultra-long-range will bring more convenience and comfort to our customers and will enable us to operate ultra-long-range flights in a commercially viable manner.
“It will help us boost our network competitiveness and further grow the Singapore hub.”
The A350-900 ultra-long-range is a development of the A350-900.
The main change over the standard aircraft is a modified fuel system, enabling the fuel carrying capacity to be increased by 24,000 litres to 165,000 litres.
This extends the range of the aircraft without the need for additional fuel tanks.