Japan Airlines has taken delivery of its first ever Airbus aircraft after receiving an A350-900 at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Toulouse.
The A350-900 JA01XJ took off from Toulouse as JL8102 a little after 1245 on Thursday (European time) and landed at Tokyo Haneda Airport some 12 hours later on Friday morning local time.
The ferry flight followed the official handover ceremony at Airbus’s Henri Ziegler Delivery Centre, where Japan Airlines representative director and chairman Yoshiharu Ueki joined Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer and other invited guests to celebrate the handover of the first Airbus aircraft to the airline.
— JAPAN AIRLINES【JAL】 (@JAL_Official_jp) June 14, 2019
— JAPAN AIRLINES【JAL】 (@JAL_Official_jp) June 13, 2019
In 2013, Japan Airlines ordered 31 A350 family aircraft, comprising 18 A350-900s that will primarily be used on domestic and regional routes and 13 of the larger A350-1000 that are slated for long-haul operations. The order also included options for 25 more of the type.
The airline recently unveiled its domestic configuration for the A350-900, which features 369 seats across three cabin classes. There were 12 seats in first in a 2-2-2 layout, 94 seats in business (branded Class J) at eight-abreast and 263 seats in economy with nine seats per row.
VIDEO: A look at Japan Airlines’ first A350-900 being built from the Airbus YouTube channel.
The inaugural commercial service with the A350-900 is scheduled for September 1, when the type will be used on the JL317 from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka.
The A350-900 was then expected to be deployed on flights from Tokyo Haneda to Okinawa and Sapporo New Chitose.
— Airbus (@Airbus) June 13, 2019
While this was the first time Japan Airlines had ordered aircraft directly from Airbus, one of the airline’s subsidiaries – Japan Air System – had orders for Airbus aircraft when it was acquired.
The Airbus A350 is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. At May 31 2019, the program had received 893 orders from 51 customers, according to the Airbus website. Some 278 aircraft have been delivered to 25 operators.