Cathay Pacific’s first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft has emerged from the Airbus paint shop in Toulouse sporting the airline’s colours ahead of its deployment on the carrier’s new non-stop service to Washington DC on September 15, 2018.
Hong Kong’s flag carrier has a total of 20 A350-1000s on order and is set to take delivery of the first aircraft in mid-2018. The airline is also set to take delivery of six new A350-900s, 32 A321neos and 21 Boeing 777-9s between now and 2024.
The A350-1000 is Airbus’s newest aircraft, the first having been delivered to launch customer Qatar Airways just last month. The -1000 is seven metres longer than the -900 and, in the case of Cathay Pacific, will have eight more business class seats than its predecessor (46 in total) along with four additional premium economy seats (32 total) and 42 more in economy (256 total).
Business class will occupy a single cabin at the front of the aircraft, laid out 1-2-1 in a herringbone formation that allows all passengers to access the aisles directly. Premium economy, meanwhile, is laid out 2-4-2 across four rows, and economy is configured 3-3-3.
Business Traveller got a first look at Airbus’s demonstration version of its A350-1000 when the manufacturer sent the aircraft on a worldwide tour earlier this year.
So far, only Washington DC has been confirmed to see the new aircraft. When it launches, the service will be the longest in Cathay Pacific’s network.
Cathay Pacific has unveiled new routes since it announced its Washington DC service last year, most notably Cape Town on November 13 this year, however this will be flown by the -900.
Meanwhile Qatar Airways appears set to fly its first A350-1000 on its Doha-London route.
Along with the A350-1000, Airbus also recently rolled out the first of its ultra-long-range version of the A350-900, the A350-900ULR, from the assembly line. The new aircraft is set to go to launch customer Singapore Airlines, who has previously stated plans to use the aircraft to relaunch its non-stop Singapore-New York service.