TAM Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 has made its first flight, from Airbus’ widebody assembly facility at Toulouse Blagnac International Airport in southwestern France.
The aircraft will now progress to its final production phase, which includes further ground checks and flight tests, before delivery to TAM Airlines.
Delivery of TAM Airlines’ first A350-900 to the carrier is due to take place later this month.
Brazilian carrier TAM will become the first airline from the Americas to fly the Airbus A350 XWB and the fourth operator in the world.
LATAM Airlines Group, which is made up of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines and their subsidiaries, has ordered 27 A350-900s.
All the LAN and TAM group carriers are eventually to be merged into a unified carrier called LATAM, which will be South America’s largest airline by far once the operational merger is completed.
TAM will put its first A350-900 into commercial service in January, initially operating the aircraft between the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Manaus in order to build operational experience with the type quickly.
The airline will then put the A350-900 into service on long-haul international routes from São Paulo to Miami, Madrid and Orlando.
As of the end of October, Airbus had received firm orders for 787 A350 XWB-family aircraft from 41 customers.
However, on November 13, Airbus announced that TAP Portugal had substituted a firm order for 12 A350-900s with a firm order for 14 A330-900neos.