Two Chinese carriers, Air China and Sichuan Airlines, each took delivery of their first Airbus A350-900 aircraft yesterday, becoming the first Chinese airlines to operate the widebody aircraft.
Both carriers initially will deploy their new aircraft on domestic routes before shifting them over to services to international destinations.
Air China configures its A350 with three classes, offering a total of 312 seats. The business class cabin has 32 seats laid out in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone format, meaning all passengers get direct access to the aisle. The premium economy cabin, meanwhile, has 24 seats laid out 2-4-2 and the economy cabin offers 256 seats in a nine-abreast configuration.
Sichuan Airlines’ A350, however, offers just two classes, business and economy, with 28 seats in the former and 303 in the latter for a total capacity of 331 seats. The aircraft, which sports a special panda-themed livery, is the first of four that it will lease from AerCap, however earlier this year the carrier firmed an order with Airbus to purchase an additional 10.
The airline notably operates an all-Airbus fleet, comprising 123 narrowbody A320s and 12 A330s.
The A350 is one of Airbus’s newest aircraft, and features Airbus’s Airspace cabin, which has been designed to offer enhanced atmospheric and ambience control in the cabin aimed improving passenger comfort.