The first of six Airbus A350-900 aircraft set to be delivered to Philippine Airlines has taken its maiden flight from Airbus’s industrial facility in Toulouse, France.

Philippine Airlines aims to take delivery of four of its A350s within this year. Where exactly the aircraft will fly, the airline has yet to formally announce, though it has stated in the past the aircraft will operate on new routes to North America – notably the US East Coast – and Europe.

That being said, despite recently announcing that its flights between Manila and New York would be switching to non-stop this October – a route the A350 would be ideally placed to operate – the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is currently earmarked to fly the route.

The aircraft will be three-class, offering Airspace cabins that Philippine Airlines describes as being its “most luxurious business class, premium economy and economy class cabins to date”.

Philippine Airlines has been on a mission to upgrade its cabin offerings over the past year, including by retrofitting its A330-300 with a new three-class configuration that notably features a Thompson Vantage XL business class seat.

Meanwhile, the carrier has also begun taking delivery of its medium-range A321neo aircraft, which will be available on its Manila-Brisbane route next month. These notably include 12 fully flat business class seats, making Philippine Airlines the first Asian carrier to offer such seating on a narrow-body aircraft to Australia.

Philippine Airlines’ fleet currently comprises 26 A320s, 15 A330s and five A340s.