Aeroflot Will Begin Airbus A350 Operations In Early 2020

Russian national flag carrier Aeroflot will begin operations with its first Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft in early 2020.

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Aeroflot to start flying new A350 early 2020. Photo: Airbus

According to Aeroflot’s first quarter 2020 schedule published on its website, the Russian airline will introduce an A350 on its Moscow to New York route starting March 29th, 2020. Other A350’s will then be deployed on the Moscow to Beijing route from May 1st, with Soul and Miami to follow in early June.

When asked by Russian Aviation Insider to confirm the start dates for the new A350, Aeroflot pointed out that while those dates are correct, the plane will be used on several shorter routes first so that crews can familiarize themselves with the aircraft.

Although it is unknown which routes will see the plane fly first, Russian Aviation Insider is predicting that it will be used on the busy Moscow to St Petersburg and Moscow to Sochi routes.

How will the new Aeroflot A350 aircraft be configured?

New for Aeroflot will be a redesigned business class that will feature 28 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. This will be Aeroflot’s first business class cabin with direct aisle access from every seat.

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Aeroflot’s new business class seat. Photo: Rockwell Collins

At the moment Aeroflot offers a somewhat outdated business class product, featuring B/E Aerospace Diamond seats laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration. As yet we have no confirmation as to what seats will be used for business class in the Aeroflot A350, but The Points Guy suggests they are going to go with a B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat.

British Airways parent company IAG has also picked the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat for several of their aircraft. As far as the rest of the cabin is concerned, the layout will be pretty standard with 24 premium economy seats laid out 2-4-2 while the rest of the 264 seats in economy class will be 3-3-3.

How many A350s did Aeroflot order?

Aeroflot was one of the first airlines to order the A350 from Airbus, back in 2007, when it placed a request for 14 of the new fuel-efficient Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine powered jets.

Aeroflot originally ordered 14 A350s. Photo: Wikimedia

Originally intended to be a part of Aeroflot’s fleet in 2018, a series of poor financial results pushed the delivery date to early 2020. The new aircraft are earmarked to replace several of the Russian Airlines older A330 wide-body jets by the end of 2021.

Aeroflot’s fleet in 2021 will look like this

Come the end of 2021, Aeroflot will be flying 149 Boeing and 136 Airbus aircraft. Boeing will dominate thanks to Aeroflot subsidiary Pobeda Airlines’ plan to enlarge its fleet of 737’s.

Aeroflot wants to fly more Russian made planes. Photo: Mark Finlay/Flickr

Aeroflot and its subsidies would also like to increase the amount of Russian made aircraft in its fleet, primarily through the purchase of Superjet 100 regional jets.