China Is The Top Country For Airbus A350 Flights

The Airbus A350 (both the -900 and the larger and heavier -1000) together have 13,200 flights this month. That’s about 425 each day. Some 30 airlines are scheduled to operate the aircraft. China is the number-one country for the A350, with four of the top-10 airports in the country. We see what’s what.

Air China A350
China has more A350 flights this month than any other country. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

15 times fewer flights than the Boeing 747

At family level, the A350 has the fourth-highest number of widebody flights globally this month, according to schedules information from data experts Cirium.

While the A330, B787, and B777 all have more flights, the A350 is slightly ahead of the B767 (12,300 flights), not helped by American Airlines cutting the Boeing twin. In contrast, the A350 has 15 times more movements than the Boeing 747.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A350
The A350-1000 has about one in ten A350 flights. Photo: Getty Images

Almost all about the A350-900

At variant level, it is almost all about the A350-900 (code: 359), with about nine in ten movements. And there are more 359s on order than any other widebody type. The dominance of the 359 is in no way surprising given it entered commercial service three years earlier than the A350-1000 (351) and is significantly more popular.

The largest and stretched variant of any aircraft rarely gets anywhere near as many orders as the smaller, standard, and more mass-market alternative. They’re more widely usable on a variety of missions. Cirium shows that some 27 airlines are expected to use the 359 this month versus just five for the 351.

Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-941 N512DN (4)
The US has the second-highest number of A350 flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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The top-10 airports to see the A350

Doha is the top place to see the A350, as follows. This is because Qatar Airways, which was the launch customer of both variants, is the largest user of the aircraft. More interesting is how dominant the Far East – and particularly China – is. Four airports in mainland China make it into the top-10 list, with two in the top-five. The top airports are:

  1. Doha: approximately 1,158 flights this July
  2. Singapore: 955
  3. Chengdu: 485
  4. Paris CDG: 437
  5. Beijing Capital: 417
  6. Tokyo Haneda: 395
  7. Shanghai Hongqiao: 362
  8. London Heathrow: 325
  9. Guangzhou: 292
  10. Hong Kong: 289
Sichuan Airlines A350
Sichuan Airlines is one of four Chinese carriers to use the aircraft. Photo: N509FZ via Wikimedia.

China: the number-one country for the A350

With over 2,500 A350 flights, China has almost twice as many movements as the United States. Some 19 airports across the mainland are due to see the aircraft this month. The top countries are:

  1. China: an estimated 2,528 flights
  2. United States: 1,407
  3. Qatar: 1,158
  4. Singapore: 955
  5. Japan: 924
  6. France: 632
  7. Germany: 442
  8. United Kingdom: 332
  9. Australia: 304
  10. Hong Kong (SAR): 289

Four Chinese airlines (China Southern, Air China, China Eastern, and Sichuan Airlines) are all using the A350, along with a small number of international operators to the country. These include Finnair from its Helsinki hub to Shanghai Pudong. (Pudong was once an important destination for Finnair’s MD-11s.)

A350s in the air
At the time of writing this article, all of these 359s are in the air. Image: Flightradar24.

Chengdu to Cairo

Perhaps one of the more noteworthy A350 routes involving China is the 4,251-mile service from Chengdu to the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Sichuan Airlines began the route back in 2018, when it was operated by the A330. The 359 took over in 2021.

Sichuan currently has four 359s, all in a high-density 331-seat layout with 303 economy seats. It has a once-weekly service to Cairo, leaving China at 13:55 on Fridays and arriving into Egypt at 18:10 the same day.

Where have you flown the A350? Let us know in the comments.

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