The first Air France Airbus A350 has just rolled out of the paint shop in Toulouse, and we have to say, it looks absolutely stunning in its new white livery.
The A350 is scheduled for a September delivery date, following an extensive cabin fit-out that features new Business Class Zodiac Optima seats. The aircraft does not have its engines fitted yet, as you can see in the photograph.
Designed especially for the Airbus A350, the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines offer a 15% fuel saving on previous Trent engines, while still offering unbeatable performance and noise levels.
The new member of the Air France family is earmarked to enter service in October, flying between Paris and the Ivory Coast capital Abidjan. Starting November 25th, the new Airbus is scheduled to offer a daily non-stop service between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
New for the Air France A350 will be the introduction of a Business Class service that offers 34 lie-flat Zodiac Optima seats, laid out in the popular 1-2-1 configuration.
According to Zodiac Seats UK the new Zodiac Optima seats on Air Frances A350 “offer passengers, a unique balance between passenger comfort and airlines’ operational efficiency, the OPTIMA® seat stands out for its high-level, modular privacy, due notably to direct aisle access. Maximizing living and working features, it also meets the needs of passengers travelling as a group.”
Besides the new Business Class seating, the aircraft will feature 24 seats in Premium Economy laid out 2-4-2 configuration and 266 Economy Class seats laid out 3-3-3.
This Air France A350 was originally meant for Joon
According to website Airlinerwatch, the aircraft was originally intended for Air France’s low-cost subsidiary Joon.
Joon was set up to appeal to young people, with the word “Joon” sounding similar to the French word Jeune, meaning young. Air France’s plan was to use the airline on routes where they faced stiff competition from low-cost carriers.
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In the spring of 2018, it was announced that Joon would be flying 28 aircraft by 2020, 10 of which were long-haul aircraft. This included the newly painted A350 that was photographed in Toulouse on June 17th.
Barely a year into its infancy, the millennial-targeting airline was cancelled by Air France’s new Canadian CEO, Benjamin Smith.
According to Air France: “The brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors. The plurality of brands in the marketplace has created much complexity and unfortunately weakened the power of the Air France brand.”
As such, the last Joon flights will take place this month. Hence, the A350 is being repainted in traditional Air France all-white livery with red and blue accents.
The A350 goes to Air France
In a press release issued by Air France on June 18th, the addition of the A350 to Air France’s family of jets is a part of the company’s strategy of renewing the airlines long-haul fleet.
In the statement Air France also makes the point of the A350 being able to meet its environmental objectives while offering “optimum service to customers, whose satisfaction is at the heart of the company’s ambition.”
Will you fly the Air France A350? Let us know in the comments!