Travellers looking forward to seeing Airbus’s newest version of its wide-body A350 aircraft, the A350-1000, will have to wait a little longer it seems, with delivery of the aircraft now looking set to take place in early 2018.
According to FlightGlobal, the first A350-1000, which was originally set to go to launch customer Qatar Airways by the end of this year, will be delayed though Airbus has not specified the reasons for the change in schedule nor the exact date it now expects the aircraft to make its way to Qatar Airways.
The aircraft has already been outfitted in the airline’s livery and on December 11 took its maiden flight wearing Qatar Airways’ colours (see video). The first ever flight for the A350-1000 took place back in November 2016.
The A350-1000 is Airbus’s largest twin-engined airliner ever, having an expected capacity of 440 passengers, and notably for travellers will be the second aircraft to feature Qatar Airways’ recently launched Q Suite business class product. The Q Suite, which was unveiled in March, is currently outfitted in the airline’s Boeing 777 and is set to eventually be rolled out across its A350s and B787s, though the latter will have a slightly different seat due to space restrictions.
Features of the new product include the option to convert two seats into a double bed, or to group four seats together into a private suite.
More than a dozen airlines have placed orders for the A350-1000, including among others Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific, which last week announced it would fly the aircraft on its new service to Washington DC.