The first Airbus A350-900 for Air France has successfully performed its maiden flight, bringing the aircraft one step closer to delivery.
Registered F-WZFN, under test conditions, the aircraft took off from Toulouse, France and performed various maiden flight tests over the course of 5 hours and 24 minutes.
Air France has 28 Airbus A350-900s on order; with the first scheduled to be delivered in September, after completing manufacturer and customer test flights.
Photos thanks to Clement Alloing via Flickr
The new aircraft will be used to gradually replace their older Airbus A340-300 and Boeing 777 aircraft.
As noted by One Mile at a Time via RoutesOnline, Air France will fly their A350 to Africa on a daily basis from the 23rd of September.
The aircraft will be operating Air France’s route to Bamako, Mali, and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with the following schedule:
- AF520 Paris to Bamako departing 10:10 arriving 13:50
- AF520 Bamako to Abidjan departing 15:00 arriving 16:35
- AF521 Abidjan to Bamako departing 18:50 arriving 20:35
- AF521 Bamako to Paris departing 22:50 arriving 06:10 (+1 day)
Air France has opted to configure their Airbus A350s in a three class layout, consisting of a total of 324 seats. The following table breaks this down:
All Business Class seats will have direct aisle access, thanks to the staggered layout as seen in the diagram below.
The chosen seats for Business Class are Zodiac’s Optima product, which combine a high-level of passenger comfort with great reliability and efficiency.
Premium Economy will be configured in a 2-4-2 layout, with rumors stating Recaro will be the seat provider.
All classes are said to be using the Zodiac RAVE entertainment system, which provides great quality and smooth entertainment.
Unfortunately more details still have to be sourced to provide a full overview of the cabin, so we’ll have to wait for delivery.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 engines the Airbus A350-900 will offer Air France far greater performance and operating efficiency, when compared to previous generation aircraft.
Utilising Airbus’ commonality scheme Air France will fly the A350s alongside their A330s under a common type rating, meaning a single pilot pool can fly both aircraft.
Expect more announcements as the aircraft progresses through testing and approaches delivery, which we will be covering on this blog!
Are you looking forward to Air France receiving their first Airbus A350?
Cover image thanks to Clement Alloing.