LONDON – Did you know that the Airbus A350XWB was going to be called the A370 or the A280? Neither did we. Let’s take a look into this.
Courtesy of @A350Blog on Twitter, before the announcement of the name, it was decided at the July 2006 Farnborough Air Show it was going to be called the A370 or A280.
Airbus accidentally published an advertisement on the Financial Times website back in 2006 referring to the aircraft as the A280.
If anything, it’s clear that the A350 was the next option that would have made sense in terms of number order after the A340.
Where The A350 Program Is Right Now…
The A350 program has had substantial success over the last few years, with Airbus already delivering over 500 units of the type.
Iberia was the lucky customer to receive the 500th A350 in September, which marked a significant milestone for the manufacturer.
Philippe Mhun, EVP of Programmes & Services at Airbus, said the following on that particular milestone:
“When we designed the A350 and delivered the first one, we were extremely proud to have created a real clean sheet, state-of-the-art aircraft, delivering unmatched performance and economics.”
“It offers passengers outstanding space, comfort, and quietness, and it contributes significantly to decarbonizing aviation.”
“The A350 is providing today a versatile platform to support our customers’ strategy in front of a more and more complex environment”.
Based on numbers from Airbus back in September, the A350 has received a total of 919 firm orders from 52 different customers.
Following its entry into service with Qatar Airways in January 2015, Airbus has been looking at many different ways in which it can expand this product further.
The A350ULR Will Offer Further Flexibility…
Airbus has recently incorporated the ULR (Ultra Long Range) variant into its portfolio of products over the last few years, with Singapore Airlines utilizing this the most.
The airline has been operating historic flights such as Singapore-New York, amongst others, non-stop and direct.
Moving into the future, Qantas will be joining in on this ULR project through the order of 12 A350-1000ULRs made back in May 2022.
Sydney and Melbourne will be linked with London Heathrow and New York’s JFK, to begin with, before further route additions are added later down the road.
The A350 Freighter: Continuing The Twin-Engine Cargo Battle…
Another addition to the A350 Family will be the Freighter version, which has acquired some interest already in the form of sales.
Airbus believes that 540 new aircraft are going to be needed in the particular segment they aim to target with this jet by 2040, which is unsurprising due to the continued e-commerce demand year-on-year.
The launch operator of the type is expected to be Singapore Airlines, who ordered seven units of the type at the Singapore Air Show.
Deliveries of the new variation will begin in 2025.
This news from @A350Blog highlights just how far this particular aircraft project has come over the last 10-15 years.
With new variations being developed and eventually delivered, all eyes will be on Airbus to see how much further they can take with this jet.
But for now, the next few years in A350-based aviation do appear to be an exciting time.