Sichuan Airlines, the largest all Airbus fleet carrier in China, has taken delivery of its first A350-900 leased from AerCap in Toulouse today, becoming the first Chinese mainland operator via leasing to take delivery of the world’s newest and most efficient twin-engine widebody aircraft.
Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, Sichuan Airlines’ A350-900 aircraft features a comfortable two-class cabin layout of 331 seats: 28 business, and 303 economy. The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes, followed by its international “Panda Routes”.
Sichuan Airlines operates an all Airbus fleet of 135 aircraft, including 123 A320 Family aircraft and 12 A330 Family aircraft. The partnership between Sichuan Airlines and Airbus dates back to 1995 when the airline introduced the A320, becoming the first to operate an Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft on the Chinese mainland. It was also the first operator to take delivery of a Tianjin assembled A320 Family aircraft. In 2010, Sichuan Airlines received its first A330 aircraft, in 2016 it signed a Letter of Intent for leasing four A350-900s, and in 2018 it signed an agreement with Airbus to order ten A350-900s.
By the end of July 2018, Airbus recorded a total of 890 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 46 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.