After a 3 month manufacturing delay, Cathay Pacific will be finally welcoming their first Airbus A350 in May 2016. The airline will receive twelve A250-900’s this year, with more to follow in 2017. The first A350-900XWB took the skies recently in France for its maiden flight.

“The aircraft will now enter the final phase of production including cabin completion, further ground checks and test flights before being prepared for delivery in the second quarter of the year,”- 
Airbus said in a statement to Australian Aviation.

Each of the airline’s twenty A350-900 jets on order will carry 280 passengers across business, premium economy and economy class. The new Cathay business class will feature 38 seats in a 1-2-2 layout, with a light refresh to the seat design and experience. The refresh comes from an extensive series of customer surveys and workshops completed.

The premium economy cabin will comprise of 28 seats in a 2-4-2 layout, similar to Cathay’s Boeing 777-300ERs.

Airbus says the A350 is 25 percent more efficient than comparable planes from its competitors, which will help Cathay trim expenses as it modernises its large fleet.

Cathay will fly the new Airbus A350 fleet on various medium to long-haul International routes. Starting September 2nd, the airline also will fly the A350 on the Hong Kong to London Gatwick running four days a week. Other likely starters to the route map schedule (subject to change) are Auckland, Singapore, Milan, and Barcelona.

The A350-900 comes at a significant time for Cathay Pacific, as it’s expected to play a centre stage role in the upcoming 70th anniversary of the airline later in the year.

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