Finnair has confirmed it will take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 in a delivery ceremony on October 7.
Helsinki-based Finnair has 19 Airbus A350-900s on order, to be delivered over eight years from 2015 to 2023.
“For the first few weeks, the new aircraft will serve crew familiarization flights in Europe, with the first commercial flights taking place on October 9 to Amsterdam and Oslo,” says Ville Iho, Finnair’s chief operating officer.
Finnair’s first Airbus A350-900 will then start long-haul service on November 21, when the aircraft flies from Helsinki to Shanghai.
Subsequent A350 long-haul destinations Finnair will introduce in the coming months will be Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Finnair will also take an A350-900 to New York JFK later this year, becoming the first airline in the world to fly to the U.S. with the aircraft type.
The airline has slightly adjusted its Airbus A350 long-haul launch schedule as a result of changes in the expected delivery schedules of Finnair’s early A350-900s, the needs of its crew-familiarization program and other operational factors.
According to Finnair, it wants to offer the best possible customer experience for its customers and so it has adopted a slightly more conservative launch schedule than it previously indicated.
”Introducing 19 new aircraft into our fleet over a period of eight years is a major program for Finnair,” says Iho.
“We have built the necessary flexibility into our preparedness plans and our A340 exit plan to adjust to any changes that may arise over the course of this massive program, ensuring a smooth introduction of the new aircraft into our fleet,” Iho adds.