British Airways Now Has A Quarter Of Its Airbus A350 Fleet

British Airways has now received over a quarter of the Airbus A350 aircraft it has ordered. The British flag carrier yesterday took delivery of its fifth A350 in Toulouse, France.

British Airways, Airbus A350, G-XWBE
British Airways has taken delivery of its fifth Airbus A350. Photo: British Airways

Half a year ago, British Airways began to operate the Airbus A350, initially flying the aircraft to Madrid. This was followed by a second, third, and, after a minor hiccup in the paint shop, a fourth. Now, the airline has taken delivery of its fifth of 18 aircraft. The latest aircraft is registered G-XWBE. This is ahead of the airline launching US flights with the game-changing aircraft later this year.

The fifth delivery

According to British Airways CEO, Alex Cruz, the airline yesterday took delivery of its fifth Airbus A350. As such, the airline has received 28% of the A350s it has ordered, in other words, more than a quarter. Speaking of the delivery, Cruz said:

“We’re delighted to welcome our fifth A350 aircraft, G-XWBE, up to 40% more fuel efficient than the aircraft it replaces and complete with our new Club Suite – just one part of our £6.5bn investment for customers.”

British Airways, Airbus A350, G-XWBE
The aircraft flew from Toulouse to London yesterday. Photo:

The aircraft flew from Toulouse to London yesterday evening. Having been handed over to British Airways by Airbus, the aircraft departed from Toulouse at 17:14 CET. Using the flight number BA9135, the aircraft flew to London with a flight time of 1-hour and 31-minutes. As such, it touched down at its new home, London Heathrow, at 17:45 GMT.

The aircraft is one of 22 which will be delivered to British Airways this year. This figure includes more Airbus A350s, the airline’s first Boeing 787-10, in addition to some more aircraft from the A320neo family.

Where will the aircraft fly?

Having arrived at London Heathrow, the aircraft will now undergo entry to service checks, before entering the British Airways fleet. This could see the aircraft flying to Toronto, Bengaluru, Tel Aviv, or Dubai.

British Airways, Airbus A350, G-XWBE
In March British Airways will begin flying the Airbus A350 to three US destinations. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

In mid-December, British Airways also alluded to the Airbus A350 flying to the United States. Subject to change, from the 29th of March, when the IATA summer season kicks in, the airline will place the A350 on three routes. This means that G-XWBE could additionally fly to Austin, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.

The Airbus A350 contains no first-class seats. Instead, the highest class of service provided onboard the aircraft is Club World. However, the airline used the Airbus A350 to debut its brand new Club Suite cabin which sees the old 2-4-2 configuration being replaced by 1-2-1 suites with closing doors. Simple Flying got the chance to be on the first flight with the Club Suite. Here’s what we thought.

Have you already flown onboard one of British Airways’ new Airbus A350s? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!