Some may remember that in September Airbus made this video that showed five of their A350 series aircraft flying in formation. The French company recently updated the video to include all the details and meticulous planning sessions that any aviation geek would love to see.
There are a few different variations in the new A350 XWB “family” and they all boast spacious cabins and improved fuel efficiency. The passenger versions will hold about 274-369 people depending on which of the three models is being flown.
This video comes as Airbus begins its first A350 deliveries to Qatar Airways. Dubai-based Gulf News reports that the aircraft are expected sometime between the 12th and the 15th of December. Qatar has ordered 80 A350s, the most of all other airlines.
Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of the Doha-based airline, told reporters that, “everything looked perfect.” Airbus undoubtedly hopes that everything looks perfect too. The last time Airbus had a shipment of planes headed for Qatar, they were sent back.
Back in May, Qatar was due to receive some new A380s. But after some inspection, Al Baker choose to postpone the delivery. He told Reuters that there were, “issues with the interior of the cabin.” So the A380s went back for some modifications, which caused a three month delay.
The major hiccup in A350 orders happened in Jun. when Emirates Airline cancelled their order of 70 A350s. Airbus played it cool, despite the loss. Their Chief of Sales, John Leahy, explained to The Wall Street Journal that, “It is not good news commercially, but it certainly has no impact financially.” He was confident that other customers would come in and purchase the planes.
The main competitor to the Airbus’ A350 is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Passengers may enjoy the more comfortable, wide body flying experience offered by the A350. But business may find the Dreamliner to be the more economical option, since basic models cost about $50 million less than the competition, according to NBC.