The A350-900 has become one of Airbus’ most successful widebody jets in recent history, with over 700 orders. The aircraft’s long range, large cabin, and efficiency have made it a strong choice for long-haul routes. So, which carriers fly the A350-900?
This article will cover all the operators (those who have taken delivery) of the A350-900 starting from the largest operator. Currently, 32 airlines globally are operating the aircraft type. Route and fleet information is sourced from Planespotters.net and Airportspotting.com.
Singapore Airlines is the largest operator of the A350-900 with 52 aircraft currently in service and 15 more on order. The A350 forms the backbone of the airline’s long-haul fleet. Singapore Airlines is also the sole operator of the A350-900ULR, the ultra-long-range version of the aircraft, used on routes such as Newark to Singapore (the longest route in the world).
The launch customer of the A350 family, Qatar Airways currently flies 34 of the -900 variant, completing its order. The aircraft is used on long-haul routes globally, with many flying to cities in the US, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco (starting this month), and many more. Qatar is one of the few airlines flying both A350 variants, with 18 -1000s in its fleet as well.
Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific is another major operator, flying 27 A350-900s. The plane can routinely be found on routes to Europe and Australia, as well as some medium-haul destinations in Asia. Currently, Cathay has deferred deliveries of further aircraft due to the crisis.
Lufthansa currently operates 16 A350-900s, with 27 more pending delivery. The aircraft will modernize the airline’s current long-haul fleet which consists of the A340 and 747-400s and possibly replace the A380 as well.
Finnair operates a fleet of 16 A350-900s which is the backbone of nearly all its long-haul operations. The plane is used on routes to Asia primarily, such as Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Bangkok, Seoul, and more, along with Los Angeles. The carrier recently opted to delay the delivery of the three remaining A350s by two years from its order, citing difficulties due to the pandemic.
The only American operator of the A350, Delta recently made the switch to an all-Airbus widebody fleet. The airline primarily uses the A350 on long-haul routes to Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul, as well as select transatlantic routes to Amsterdam.
Taiwanese flag-carrier China Airlines operates 14 A350-900s. The plane is routinely deployed on high-traffic routes within Asia, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Bangkok, making it a great way to fly on the A350 in Asia.
Africa’s biggest airline, Ethiopian operates a fleet of 14 A350-900s. The plane has been used on hundreds of cargo-only flights in 2020 due to the drop in demand, and can be found on scheduled passenger services to Toronto, Beijing, and more destinations.
Vietnam Airlines operates a fleet of 14 A350-900s. The plane can be found in high-traffic markets such as Singapore and Osaka and long-haul routes to Europe (London, Paris, Frankurt) and Australia.
With one of the most diverse widebody fleets in the world, Thai Airways operates 12 A350-900s. These planes primarily find themselves on European routes to cities such as London, Frankfurt, Brussels, as well as cities like Melbourne.
South Korea’s second-biggest airline, Asiana operates 11 A350s, with 10 more pending delivery. From its Seoul hub, the carrier uses this aircraft on routes to Seattle, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt, New York, and more. Korean Air will soon become the new owner of Asiana under a new merger.
Flag carrier Air China is the biggest operator of the A350 in the country, flying 10 A350-900s and 20 more on the order books. The airline is unique in that the A350 can be found on some domestic routes from Beijing to Chengdu and Guangzhou. For the most part, the plane flies from Bejing and Shanghai to cities such as Milan, London Heathrow and Gatwick, Osaka, and more.
South America’s biggest airline, LATAM operates a fleet of 10 A350-900s. The carrier had plans to sell four of its A350 fleet to Delta, a deal which ultimately fell through. With the airline currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it has been returning a number of A350s back to lessors. The remaining fleet does fly to cities such as Frankfurt and Madrid.
Spanish flag carrier Iberia is the only IAG airline operating the A350-900, with nine aircraft in its fleet. As the airline’s flagship aircraft, it can found on routes from Madrid to Los Angeles, Tokyo, Buenos Aries, and more cities.
China Eastern operated a fleet of seven A350-900s, with 13 more aircraft pending for delivery. The airline currently uses this small fleet strategically on routes such as Hangzhou to Sydney and Nanjing to Vancouver, but otherwise also flies from its base in Shanghai to Amsterdam, Vancouver, and more. As the fleet grows, we can expect more routes to be added.
Air France currently flies six A350-900s, but has 35 more planes in the pipeline. The aircraft finds uses on many high-traffic routes, including Dubai, Toronto, Atlanta, Ho Chi Minh, and more. The growing A350 fleet will become the flagship of the fleet, especially with the early retirement of the A380 this year.
China’s biggest airline, China Southern operates a fleet of six A350-900s, with 14 more on order. The airline uses the plane in domestic sectors such as Guangzhou to Beijing and Shanghai, and long-haul flights to Paris.
Japan Airlines is one of the few carriers that regularly uses the A350 in its bustling domestic market. The airline flies six A350-900s, with 12 more on order. The plane can currently be found on routes from Tokyo to Fukuoka, Okinawa, and Sapporo.
Flag carrier Malaysia Airlines operates six A350-900s. The airline primarily uses these planes on routes to London and Tokyo from Kuala Lumpur.
Philippine Airlines operates six A350-900s, completing its order. The carrier uses these aircraft on one of the longest routes in the world, from Manila to JFK, as well as London and Toronto.
Paris-Orly based airline French bee has an all-Airbus A350 fleet. The airline operates four A350-900s on its routes from Paris to Reunion (along with other French overseas territories) and Newark.
Scandinavian flag carrier SAS operates a fleet of four A350-900s, with an equal number on order. The airline uses the plane on transatlantic hops to Chicago, Newark, San Francisco, as well as Shanghai.
Chengdu-based Sichuan Airlines operates four A350-900s with six more on order. The airline uses these aircraft primarily on domestic flights from Chengdu to Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, and long-haul routes to Los Angeles.
Sister airline to French bee, Air Caraïbes operates a fleet of three A350-900s. The airline flies from the Paris Orly to a number of French territories.Air Caraïbes is a sister airline to French bee. Photo: Airbus
Air Mauritius operates a fleet of four A350-900s, including two that were previously leased to South African Airways. The airline flies the plane to London, Paris, and plans to start routes to Delhi and Mumbai next year.
Spanish charter carrier Evelop Airlines flies two A350-900s. The airline does not fly scheduled routes but only seasonal leisure routes Caribbean countries such as Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and more
The only Oceania A350 operator, Fiji Airways operates a pair of A350-900s, taking delivery late last year. The airline flies the plane to neighboring Sydney and Auckland, as well as from Nadi to Los Angeles.
Hainan Airlines operates two A350-900s, flying the aircraft on domestic routes and from Beijing to Boston. The airline has struggled financially in the last few years, delaying the delivery of over a dozen A350s.
Hong Kong Airlines
Sister airline to Hainan, Hong Kong Airlines also flies two A350-900s. However, these aircraft are currently stored but previously flew to Los Angeles and Vancouver. The carrier has been struggling in the last few years due to low passenger numbers and troubles with parent HNA Group.
One of the most awaited A350 operators, Turkish Airlines took delivery of its A350 at the end of October. The airline is currently operating two A350s, using the plane on shorter routes from Istanbul to Ankara, Antalya, and London. The plane will eventually end up on routes to Dubai, Los Angeles, and Seoul.
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot operates a single A350-900, with 21 more deliveries planned in the coming years. The aircraft will be used on routes to London and Osaka, with more destinations to US and Asia planned as more planes join the fleet.
Could you name all the A350 carriers? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments below!