Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350 at a ceremony in Toulouse. The aircraft is the first of 14 A350-900s on order by the carrier. It will debut to St Petersburg as soon as next week, according to the Aeroflot schedule.
Aeroflot originally placed an order for 22 of the smaller Airbus A350-800, however, when the project was shelved, the Russian carrier traded these for 14 Airbus A350-900 aircraft. This first Airbus A350 will fly back to Moscow tomorrow. Here it will undergo entry into service checks before being deployed next week.
A commitment to the best service
Speaking at the delivery service in Toulouse Andre Panov, the Deputy CEO for Strategy, Service, & Marketing at Aeroflot commented:
“We are extremely proud of our relationship with Airbus. Today’s delivery of the Airbus A350, one of the world’s most advanced and efficient aircraft is a milestone for Aeroflot’s history. Not only will it be a new aircraft type in the Aeroflot fleet it’s also a brand new, state of the art [aircraft]. With this aircraft, we are showing our commitment to deliver the best service to our customers.”
He went on to add,
“We will have many more A350s and they will fly to New York, Beijing, Delhi, Shanghai. They will fly our new routes that we’ll be launching this year and next year, such as Osaka and Singapore. For many years Aeroflot has been promoting the Russian culture and I’m proud to announce that our first A350 is named after a famous Russian composer, Tchaikovsky.”
When will it enter service?
The aircraft has only just been delivered to Russia’s flag carrier, however, its entry into service plans will waste no time. Similar to British Airways, who received its first Airbus A350 last summer, Aeroflot wants the aircraft to begin flying customers in a week’s time.
According to Aeroflot’s online booking engine, the first Airbus A350 flight will operate in just one week’s time. The aircraft is scheduled to operate flight SU 10 next Friday (6th March 2020). The aircraft will depart from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) at 08:10. After just 1-hour and 35-minutes in the air, the aircraft will touch down in St Petersburg (LED) at 09:45.
The short hop to St Petersburg will be currently operated by Aeroflot until the 20th of March subject to change. This flight will be ideal for the carrier to train crew on the aircraft. If something minor goes wrong such as confusion over the coffee machine, the effects are less dramatic on a short hop.
Following the St Petersburg training flights, the aircraft will spend around a week doing slightly longer return trips to Dubai. It is then scheduled to fly to New York from the 29th of March 2020. Future destinations include Beijing, London, and Singapore among others.
What do you make of Aeroflot’s first Airbus A350? Do you aspire to fly on it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!