The new kid on a block is ready to take off. Airbus announced on February 20, 2018, the delivery of its brand-new A350-1000 - the longest-fuselage version of A350 XWB jetliner - to launch customer Qatar Airways.

The aircraft is the first of 37 A350-1000s ordered by Qatar. The carrier is both the largest Airbus A350 XWB family customer with 76 aircraft on order and the largest A350-1000 customer.

“Qatar Airways always demands the very best for its customers, so it is right that we are the first airline in the world to fly the Airbus A350-1000,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, “This remarkable state-of-the-art aircraft will become a firm part of Qatar Airways fleet and will keep us ahead of the curve, allowing us to continue to offer our passengers outstanding levels of comfort and service”.

Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce President – Civil Aerospace, stated “We are very proud to have worked with Qatar Airways and Airbus to deliver engines for this latest version of the A350 XWB family. This delivery marks another significant day in our partnership with the airline and the manufacturer as the new aircraft is powered by the most powerful engine ever developed for an Airbus aircraft, the Trent XWB-97.”

“It is a huge pride for us to deliver the very first A350-1000 to our launch customer Qatar Airways,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus. “Bringing major advantages in fuel and cost efficiency along with unmatched passenger comfort, the A350-1000 is the ideal aircraft to showcase Qatar Airways’ legendary customer service. With its greater capacity compared to the A350-900, the newest widebody will play a major role on the carrier’s busiest long-haul routes and will contribute to strengthen their position at the forefront of the aviation industry.”

The A350-1000 features a high level of commonality with the shorter-fuselage A350-900 versions, as both models share 95% common system part numbers. Differences with the A350-1000 version include Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines and enhanced main landing gears with six wheels. The A350-1000’s seven-metre-longer fuselage has greater capacity, accommodating 366 passengers in standard 3-class configuration. This is 40+ more seats than the A350-900. It is suited for long-haul routes, as its range is the same as the A350-900.

As of November 2017, 11 customers from five continents have ordered a total of 169 A350-1000s. Combined bookings for both the A350-1000 and A350-900 stood at 858 from 45 customers as of 31 October. The A350-900 first entered airline service in January 2015; today more than 120 of these jetliners have been delivered to operators around the world.

The aircraft made its maiden flight on November 24, 2016. In November 2017 it received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), giving it the green light to enter commercial service.