Japan Airlines has ordered 31 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft (video)
Today, 7 October 2013, Japan Airlines ordered 31 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft (18 A350-900 and 13 A350-1000) plus options for another 25 aircraft. On this order, Japan Airlines and Airbus checked two premieres: it is the first order made by JAL to Airbus; is the first order for A350 XWB from an air carrier in Japan.
Airbus and JAL set A350 XWB aircraft delivery to begin with 2019, following in the 6 years the new aircraft will replace part of the JAL fleet. aircraft Airbus A350 XWB JAL will be configured in 3 classes and will be able to carry up to 300 passengers (900 version) and up to 350 passengers (1000 version). All A350 XWB aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
The battle between Airbus and Boeing is starting to get more intense in Japan. Major Japanese airlines have fleets of Boeing aircraft, but the situation is beginning to change, and Skymark Airlines started with an order for 6 A380 aircraft, still from 2011. Boeing is not too happy about the situation, but has nothing to do and has to accept carrier decisions. Or it may come with much better offers.
Coming back to Airbus A350 XWB, the MSN1 aircraft successfully operated 300 flight hours out of the total 2500 that the 5 test units will need to perform. Airbus hopes to introduce A350 XWB into operational service from the second half of the year on 2014. Airbus has announced that it has ordered over 750 of A350 XWB units from 38 of airline operators.