Finnair’s first Airbus A350-900 will start long-haul service on November 21, when the aircraft flies from Helsinki to Shanghai.

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The first Airbus A350-900 for Finnair has completed its first flight, taking off from and later returning to land at Toulouse Blagnac Airport on September 17.

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TAM Airlines’ first A350 XWB will now continue through the next stages of production, including the installation of engines, completion of cabin furnishing and cockpit fitting, before starting ground and flight tests.

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The A350s and A330s are slated for Iberia’s fleet modernization and to open new long-haul routes, and the A320neos will be allocated to the group’s airlines for fleet replacement, according to Airbus.

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TAM Airlines expects its first Airbus A350-900 to arrive in Brazil in December and to schedule its first commercial flight with the type for January 2016, on the long domestic sector from São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport to Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes–Manaus International Airport.

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Skyteam alliance member Vietnam Airlines took delivery at a ceremony at Airbus’ delivery center in Toulouse on June 30 of the first of 14 Airbus A350-900s it is due to receive.

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Air Lease Corporation announced on June 15 its latest Airbus order, at the opening day of the Paris Air Show 2015.

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Garuda Indonesia has garnered the biggest headlines on the first day of the Paris Air Show 2015 by signing letters of intent for 30 Airbus A350 XWB widebodies, 30 Boeing 787-9s and up to 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

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Wearing the airline’s distinctive blue-and-gold lotus livery, Vietnam Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 performed its first flight on June 1 from Toulouse Blagnac Airport, where Airbus’ widebody final-assembly lines are located.

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Finnair has begun selling tickets for its first long-haul services with the Airbus A350-900 and reveals its first long-haul destination with the type will be Shanghai. It has also detailed a series of shorter, intra-Europe A350-900 commercial flights it will operate in October before serving Shanghai.

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Delivery of the first customer Airbus A350-900 to Qatar Airways took place nine days later than the December 13 date originally announced by Qatar Airways on December 4.

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Launch customer Qatar Airways is officially to take delivery on Saturday, December 13 of the first of 80 Airbus A350 XWB widebodies it has on order. Airbus will hand over the milestone A350-900 to the carrier at the manufacturer’s widebody final-assembly and delivery facility at Toulouse Blagnac Airport.

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Finnair has converted its eight A350 options into a firm order, increasing its firm A350-900 buy to 19 aircraft. At Airbus list prices, the value of the eight A350-900s “would be approximately €1.9 billion” ($2.34 billion), according to Finnair, which is unlikely to be paying anywhere near that much.

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In addition to its 50-aircraft order of November 20 and its order for 10 A330-300s from September 2013, Delta also has 45 Airbus A321s on firm order, bringing its total Airbus backlog to 105 aircraft.

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The October 16 first flight of Qatar Airways’ first A350-900 represented the first time an Airbus A350 XWB jet configured for a customer had flown.

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The 370-minute option extends the diversion distance up to an unprecedented 2,500nm – a distance corresponding to approximately a 370-minute maximum ETOPS diversion time for the Airbus A350-900, at one-engine-inoperative speed under standard atmospheric conditions.

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The European Aviation Safety Agency awarded the Airbus A350-900 its type certificate on September 30. FAA certification will follow shortly, according to Airbus.

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The route-proving flight trials took the aircraft over every one of the Earth’s oceans and also saw it fly over the North Pole. During its world tour, the aircraft flew approximately 81,700 nautical miles in a total of 180 flight hours.

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Airbus A350-900 MSN5 is operating a series of route-proving flights throughout the world, in an exercise designed to demonstrate readiness for airline operations. The flights will include high-airfield performance, auto-landing trials, and airport turnaround and handling services.

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