China Southern Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, becoming the newest operator of the latest generation, twin-engine long-range widebody.
The aircraft, B-308T (c/n 318) was handed over to the airline on June 28 and is the first of 20 examples the Guangzhou-based carrier has on order. It is set to join 335 other Airbus aircraft in China Southern’s fleet including 282 A320 Family jets, 48 A330s and five A380 super jumbos in its fleet. A further five A350s will be handed over this year followed by six more in 2020 and four each in 2021 and 2022.
The carrier has chosen to configure its A350-900s in a three-class layout of 314 seats, 28 business, 24 premium economy and 262 in economy. China Southern said that initially it will fly the new aircraft on its domestic routes from Guangzhou to Shanghai and Beijing, before introducing the type on links to international destinations.
Tan Wangeng, President of China Southern Airlines, explained: “With its long-range capabilities, economic fuel consumption and spacious cabin, the A350 XWB is the ideal choice for our international long-haul routes. The type’s introduction will help to strengthen our position as one of the world’s leading international carriers.”