European plane maker Airbus announced the delivery of the 500th A350 passenger aircraft and introduced a new production standard for the wide-body.
Airbus recently delivered its 500th A350-900 plane to the flag carrier of Spain, Iberia, it announced on September 30, 2022. According to the manufacturer, the handover also marks the introduction of a new Airbus production standard, under which it has improved both the performance and passenger cabin of the A350-900 and A350-1000 variants.
“Compared to previous standards, it brings a weight reduction of up to 1.2 tonnes by optimizing systems and structures and increasing the use of advanced materials which already represent more than 70% of the aircraft,” Airbus wrote.
Airbus also explains that it has increased the A350 Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTW) by additional 3 tonnes, meaning the plane can maintain its maximum range capability while carrying an increased payload.
“It also positions the A350 platform ready for future trends including decarbonization solutions, a key driver for operators,” Airbus said. “With enhanced performance, 25% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and 50% less noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft, the A350 family continuously attracts operators 8 years after its entry-into-service offering both high versatility – up to 9,700nm/18 000 km – and efficiency.”
Turning to cabin improvements, the upgraded A350 aircraft features a wider interior cabin, which gives airlines with the option to install more than 30 additional passenger seats in a typical 3-class configuration.
“When we designed the A350 and delivered the first one, we were extremely proud to have created a real clean sheet, state-of-the-art aircraft, delivering unmatched performance and economics. It offers outstanding space, comfort, and quietness to the passengers, and it contributes significantly to decarbonizing aviation,” Airbus executive vice president for programs and services Philippe Mhun said.
According to Airbus, the plane maker has more than 400 A350s in its backlog as of the end of September 2022.