Finnair A350 makes first flight

17 Sep 2015 by GrahamSmith

Finnair's new A350 XWB has completed its inaugural flight around Airbus' factory in Toulouse.

The aircraft is due for delivery on October 7 and will then be rostered on to crew familiarisation flights, including from Helsinki to London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol.

The A350's first long-haul route, a daily service between Helsinki and Shanghai, scheduled to commence on October 25. A daily operation to Beijing is due to start on November 21. 

Finnair A350 test flight

For a full list of crew familiarisation flights and subsequent long-haul services, click here. (At the time of writing, the short-haul services detailed in this link have not had their dates updated to reflect the fact the aircraft is being delivered on October 7).

Finnair's routes to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore will be served with a combination of A350 and A330 aircraft from December 5, February 1 and May 5 next year respectively.

Finnair is the first airline in Europe to operate the A350 and the third worldwide, following Qatar Airways (see news, December 2014) and Vietnam Airlines (see news, June 30).

It has 19 of the aircraft on order, each equipped with wifi, and expects to receive the first four by the end of this year.

Finnair A350 test flight

The 297-seat configuration has 46 seats in business class, 43 in Economy Comfort and 208 in economy (see news, August 2014).

The 46 seats in business are in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seating is the Zodiac Cirrus III seat that is also fitted on American Airlines and Cathay Pacific aircraft and is being introduced on the Air France fleet.

However, Finnair has chosen a tighter configuration with less legroom — 78 inches when fully reclined, in comparison with 82 inches on board Cathay Pacific, for instance.

Seat in economy have a 31-inch seat pitch and are configured 3-3-3. At the front of the economy cabin, the 43 Economy Comfort seats come with four extra inches of legroom as well as noise-cancelling headphones and an amenity kit.

Graham Smith

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