British Airways is gearing up to take delivery of its seventh Airbus A350 aircraft. As the next aircraft to be delivered, G-XWBG completed a customer acceptance flight from Toulouse yesterday.
Yesterday Airbus revealed that it had delivered 38 passenger aircraft during August, while Boeing delivered four. Due to the current situation, many airlines have been seeking to delay outstanding aircraft deliveries. After all, why take an aircraft that they can’t use right away? Thankfully, British Airways has been putting its new widebody fleet to good use, with deliveries continuing despite the current situation.
Customer acceptance flight
An essential step in the delivery of any new aircraft is the customer acceptance flight. This is akin to test driving a car before buying it. The customer acceptance flight allows pilots of the intended delivery customer to see how the aircraft flies. This also gives them an option to have any apparent issues rectified before delivery.
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The customer acceptance flight for G-XWBG, BA’s seventh A350, took place yesterday morning. Currently registered as F-WZGM, the aircraft took to the skies at 09:59, according to FlightRadar24.com. The plane climbed to 41,000 feet in several steps. The aircraft then took a tour above France, passing over Bordeaux and Poitiers.
Following an hour-long cruise, the aircraft descended in several steps while making a wide loop of Toulouse. After a circuit of the airfield, the A350-1000 touched back down in Toulouse at 12:21, two hours, and 21 minutes after departure.
British Airways’ seventh Airbus A350 delivery
Despite the first aircraft being delivered just over a year ago, the British Airways A350 fleet is growing nicely. The airline has a total of 18 A350-1000 on order. With the delivery of the seventh imminent, the airline will have received almost two-fifths of its planned deliveries. According to data from AIB Family, aircraft were delivered as follows:
- G-XWBA – July 27th, 2019
- G-XWBB – September 19th, 2019
- G-XWBC – November 26th, 2019
- G-XWBD – December 23rd, 2019
- G-XWBE – February 12th, 2020
- G-XWBF – May 20th, 2020
- G-XWBG – Delivery imminent
- G-XWBH – Fuselage assembled
Put straight to work
Many airlines have been delaying aircraft deliveries due to the current situation. Take ANA, for example. Except for the odd ‘flight to nowhere,’ the airline’s existing A380s have lied dormant since late March. If the existing fleet is not flying, why add to it?
British Airways, on the other hand, has been putting its aircraft straight to use. Let us take a look at the three most recent deliveries. G-ZBLA and G-ZBLB were the first two Boeing 787-10s delivered to British Airways earlier this summer. While the aircraft haven’t been carrying passengers, they have already been hard at work shuttling cargo between Dallas and Seattle, and London.
Meanwhile, G-XWBF, the last A350 to be delivered, has been operating cargo flights across the British Airways A350 network. As IAG Cargo doesn’t have its own planes, British Airways aircraft have been used to keep cargo routes open.
Are you excited to see another A350 joining the British Airways fleet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!