Aeroflot’s First Airbus A350 Completes Its Maiden Flight

Aeroflot’s first Airbus A350 has completed its maiden flight. The aircraft took off from Toulouse at 11:31 local time (10:31 UTC) and flew for 3-hours and 9-minutes before returning to the airport safely.

Aeroflot, Airbus A350, First Flight
The first Airbus A350 built for Aeroflot has taken its maiden flight. Photo: Airbus

Aeroflot is set to receive its first Airbus A350 aircraft within the next couple of months. The aircraft will be the latest type to join the fleet of Aeroflot, the world’s most punctual airline in 2019. Prior to delivery, any new aircraft must undergo a series of test flights, however, the first flight is always the most interesting, especially when it is the first of a new type.

Cruising around south-west France

The aircraft, due to be registered as VQ-BFY, took off from Airbus’ home in Toulouse at 11:31 local time. Following its departure, the aircraft made a wide turn to the left before flying toward the Mediterranean Sea. It initially climbed to around 30,000 feet. It then seemed to fly around the coast of France before climbing to a total height of 43,000 feet.

It then descended back down to 20,000 feet and flew above the Pyrenees Mountains. Following this portion of the flight, the aircraft returned to Toulouse where it landed in the opposite direction to its takeoff at 14:40 local time (13:40 UTC).

Aeroflot, Airbus A350, First Flight
The first flight of the Aeroflot Airbus A350 took it over the south coast of France. Image: FlightRadar24.com

Where will it debut?

Aeroflot’s first Airbus A350 will debut towards the end of March. The first route it will operate on will see it headed to New York’s JFK. Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways also operated their first Airbus A350 flights to New York, while British Airways operated to operate the aircraft on the short hop to Madrid first.

On the 1st of May, the Aeroflot Airbus A350 will begin flying to Beijing’s new Daxing Airport. Then, from the 1st of June, the aircraft will debut on its first European route. This will see the aircraft flying daily between Moscow and London in the place of an Airbus A330. While some had been reported that this first London flight had been pushed to late October, Aeroflot confirmed to Simple Flying that the A350 will fly to London as planned in June.

Aeroflot, Airbus A350, First Flight
Aeroflot will initially fly the Airbus A350 to New York’s JFK Airport. Photo: Airbus

The Airbus A350 will have a three-cabin layout. According to data from Expert Flyer, the business class cabin will be comprised of seven rows in a 1-2-1 layout, featuring 28 seats. The premium economy cabin will have 24 seats across three rows in a 2-4-2 layout. Finally, the aircraft’s economy cabin is widely thought to be delivered with a 3-3-3 layout.

Possible renderings of the new cabin were previously linked, however, Aeroflot said these were not finalized. The airline will reveal the aircraft’s interior later this month.

Are you planning to fly onboard the Aeroflot Airbus A350? What do you make of the aircraft’s first flight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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