Airbus has showed a brand new A350-900. Rolling out of the paintshop with JAL livery and a special red logo, the airliner is due for delivery in the coming months.
The aircraft is going to be delivered “in early summer” of 2019, as it still has to undergo ground and flight tests, the manufacturer says. The green light for JAL to receive its brand new airliner came in April 2019, when the country’s aviation authorities issued type certification for the Airbus A350XWB, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, Airbus stated at the time.
— Airbus PRESS (@AirbusPRESS) April 30, 2019
The new airliner has a special red logo. JAL intends to have special logos in different colours for the first three A350XWB, as the airline has previously announced. The first, red, logo (JA01XJ) stands for “challenge”. The following airliner (JA02XJ) should have a silver logo, symbolizing “innovation”, while the third (JA03XJ) is to be green for “eco”.
Starting from September 1, 2019, A350XWB aircraft are expected to operate JAL’s Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka route, gradually expanding on Haneda to Sapporo (New Chitose), Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Itami) routes, the airline announced on April 4, 2019.
A350XWB are due to replace older widebody aircraft within the Japanese carrier fleet ‒ a position currently strongly occupied by Boeing aircraft. Based on planespotters.net data, JAL operates an all-Boeing fleet of 167 aircraft, 117 of which are widebodies: Dreamliners, 777s and 767s.
Airbus and JAL have agreement for a total of 31 A350XWB aircraft. Placed back in 2013, the order is comprised of 18 A350-900s, while the remaining 13 planes are larger and newer A350-1000s. “The A350-900 will initially be operated on major domestic routes, with a three-class configuration seating 369 passengers,” according to Airbus.
While about a third of all A350XWB orders (a total of 890 as of March 31, 2019) come from Asia Pacific, the only Japanese airline planning to introduce the airliner to its fleet is Japan Airlines (JAL). The airline placed 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s firm order with Airbus in 2013.