British Airways today celebrates one year of Airbus A350-1000 operations. The airline operated its inaugural flight with the type to Madrid on August 5th, 2019. Since then, the airline has gone on to take delivery of five more of its A350 order.
Last year was a year of celebration for British Airways. The British flag carrier celebrated its 100th birthday, alongside the delivery of its first Airbus A350 aircraft. This jet was unique for two reasons. Firstly, it was, of course, a new type for the airline in its 100th year. However, it also welcomed the airline’s business product overhaul.
The inaugural flight
Simple Flying was fortunate enough to be onboard British Airways’ first Airbus A350 flight one year ago. The trip, while only a short hop from London to Madrid, was the first chance for the world to experience the airline’s latest Club Suite offering.
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British Airways marked the occasion with a special event, starting with a speech from Alex Cruz, the airline’s CEO. Here, we learned that the British flag carrier is potentially eyeing an upgrade to its First cabin onboard its future Boeing 777X aircraft. Given the two year delay to the program, it is unclear when the airline will take its first of these aircraft. You can relive the inaugural flight with us here:
The A350’s layout
As mentioned, the Airbus A350 was the launch aircraft for British Airways’ new business class product. The plane lacks the First cabin, however, given that the Club Suite is installed, not much is missing.
The front portion of the aircraft is dedicated to the Club Suite cabin. 14 rows of 1-2-1 contain 56 fully private suites. Taking up most of the space above the wings is the premium economy or World Traveller Plus cabin. This sees 58 seats laid out across seven rows in a cozy 2-4-2 layout. Finally, occupying the rear of the aircraft is the economy cabin. This sees 219 seats laid out in a 3-3-3 configuration over 26 rows.
One-third of the fleet delivered
So far, British Airways has taken delivery of six A350 aircraft, registered from G-XWBA to G-XWBF. According to AIB Family, two further planes have completed fuselage construction in Toulouse. G-XWBG yesterday completed an engine and taxi check before its first flight. Meanwhile, in mid-July, G-XWBH was spotted at the French manufacturer’s home, still painted in primer.
So far, British Airways has been one of the few aircraft taking delivery of new widebody aircraft despite the current situation. Indeed, the airline took 10% of all the commercial aircraft delivered by Boeing between April and June, alongside its sixth Airbus A350.
Have you flown on British Airways’ Airbus A350 in the past year? If so, how did you find the experience? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!