Japan Airlines First Airbus A350 Enters Its Final Assembly

The first Japan Airlines Airbus A350 has entered the final assembly line in Toulouse, France. When it’s delivered Japan Airlines will become the first Japanese carrier to operate the A350 and have recently signed a Flight Hour Service agreement with Airbus to support the launch.

The final assembly of the Japan Airlines Airbus A350 is underway in France, with the manufacturer releasing photos of the JAL liveried vertical stabiliser being moved into position, and later actually fitted to the fuselage.

After this station, the next operation will be to install winglets and to undertake the final structural completion, including ground testing of electrical, mechanical and avionics systems.

Flight Hour Services agreed with Airbus

Just today Japan Airlines have announced that they’ve entered into a Flight Hour Services (FHS) agreement with Airbus for all of its incoming A350 fleet.

Airbus A350
Japan Airlines have signed a FHS contract with Airbus

The carrier will become the first Airbus FHS A350 operator in Japan to benefit from this agreement. The Airbus FHS provides an integrated component service, including access to a spares pool, on site stock replenishment and components repair.

By taking out this maintenance plan alongside their new aircraft, JAL are ensuring a smooth rollout of their new A350 fleet.

The first A350 in Japan

When the Japan Airlines A350 is delivered, it marks an important occasion for the carrier, and the nation too. Not only will it be the first JAL A350, it will be the first A350 in Japan too. Not only that, but it marks the carrier’s first ever order of an Airbus aircraft, previously operating only Boeing models.

Japan Airlines has orders in place for 31 of the aircraft, with 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s on the books. They expect to take delivery of the first jet in around June, with service earmarked to begin in September.

The Airbus A350
The Airbus A350

The remaining 14 JAL A350-900s will be delivered between 2020 and 2023, with the larger -1000 variant commencing deliveries in 2021.

The Japan Airlines Airbus A350 is one of many due for delivery in 2019. Four other airlines are expecting to take delivery of an A350 this year, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France and Scandinavian Airlines.

Where will the Japan Airlines A350 fly?

JAL have already confirmed that the initial route for the A350-900 will be a domestic one. Set to run on a link between the cities of Haneda and Fukuoka, it will replace the existing 777-200 on that route.

As such, the route will be much less expensive for Japan Airlines to operate, with the A350 being more efficient than the 777. It seats up to 25 more passengers too, allowing the airline to maximise capacity on this busy route.

Not only will this be the first A350 to operate in Japan, it will also be the first time that this widebody aircraft has been used on an exclusively domestic service.