British Airways’ first Airbus A350 has taken its first flight. The six hour flight saw the aircraft flying over France and the Bay of Biscay. The aircraft will be the first Airbus A350-1000 to be delivered to British Airways.
The first flight of the aircraft is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates that the aircraft is capable of flying and, hopefully, is free of major control issues. Secondly, it marks the completion of hours of hard work that have gone into making the aircraft, from building the fuselage to painting the wing tips. Finally, it likely means that the aircraft will be delivered in the not too distant future.
The flight itself
Before we talk about British Airways’ new Airbus A350-1000s, let’s take a look at the aircraft’s first flight. Following a departure from Toulouse at 11:15 local time, the aircraft performed a couple of turns at a low attitude. It then began to fly in a northwesterly direction while climbing.
Then, when above Rennes, the aircraft took at 90-degree turn to the left and continued its climb to 40,000ft. By this point, an hour and 10 minutes of flight time had elapsed. Things were clearly going well as the aircraft continued to zigzag across the French skies before returning to Toulouse. The Airbus A350, currently registered as F-WZFH, then touched back down in Toulouse at 17:16 local time.
First of 18 A350s
This first British Airways Airbus A350 will be delivered to the airline registered as G-XWBA. This is a genius registration, as it combines the XWB of the A350’s branding, with the BA of British Airways. Subsequent aircraft are slated to be G-XWBB, G-XWBC, etc…
British Airways has placed an order for 18 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. This is the larger variant of the model, and the British flag carrier is set to receive four of the aircraft in 2019. However, by an interesting turn of fate, Virgin Atlantic is also expecting their first four Airbus A350-1000s this summer.
New Club World seating
The British Airways A350 is being eagerly awaited by both avgeeks and British Airways frequent flyers. The reason for this is that the aircraft will come equipped with the carrier’s new Club World (business class) suites. However, all good things come at a cost, and, as a consequence, the aircraft will have no First cabin.
BA’s A350s will first operate familiarisation flights between London and Madrid, although dates of this are yet to be confirmed. The aircraft will then operate daily to Toronto from the 1st of October, with daily flights to Dubai following on October 8th. The aircraft type will then begin flights to Tel Aviv and Bengaluru later in the year.
Are you excited for G-XWBA’s delivery? Let us know why in the comments!