Air China and Sichuan Airlines receive their first Airbus A350
After vigorously scanning through test documentation and requesting custom tests, Chinese aviation authorities have officially certified the Airbus A350 family, allowing Airbus to commence deliveries of the type to mainland China-based airlines.
Air China was the first to receive their aircraft. MSN 167 was handed over to the airline on the 8th of August as B-1086. The date of delivery and the eight in the registration was deliberate as the number ‘8’ represents prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.
As usual for new aircraft operators, Air China will operate domestic flights for familiarization before commencing international flights.
With the first A350-900 delivered, Air China now has nine aircraft remaining on order.
Here are some photos of Air China’s A350-900 from Airbus:
The aircraft is configured in a three class layout, consisting of 32 reverse herringbone seats in business class, which is an upgrade from the existing Business Class for the airline., 24 premium economy seats and 256 economy seats, totaling 312 seats throughout the aircraft.
The delivery of MSN 60 – the first Airbus A350-900 for Sichuan Airlines – occurred just hours after the delivery of Air China’s A350.
The airline is the first airline in mainland China to receive a leased aircraft, specifically from AerCap.
Again, the delivery date was chosen as it would allow the airline to be one of the first to arrive in China and because of its significance in Chinese culture.
Sichuan Airlines has their A350-900 configured in a two class layout, consisting of 303 economy seats and 28 business class seats, totaling 331 seats.
Here is a photo of the first Airbus A350-900 for Sichuan Airlines: