Accommodating the a 380
Cathay's A350-900 serves up business class in a 1-2-1 configuration with premium economy in a slightly squeezed 2-4-2 and economy in a spacious 3-3-3 setup.Vietnam Airlines operates a three-class configuration on its A350-900 - business, premium, economy - with a fully-flat seat in business class.The new generation composite-material 'Dreamliner-killer' from Airbus, the twin-engine A350 XWB, is a mid-size long range aircraft that carries anywhere from 270 to 350 passengers.Deliveries started late 2014 and Qatar had its first service airborne by January 2015. Both are modern, high strung, and elegant in their own way. More specifically, the mammoth fly-by-wire A380 – the distillation of years of electronic eugenics – or the carbon fibre composite marvel, the B787 Dreamliner? She was late to the ball and her antagonists deride her as incontrovertibly “plastic”.Shortly after, both ANA (the largest Dreamliner operator at the time with 17 aircraft in operation early 2013) and JAL had grounded their B787 fleet. Worried about electrical fires and overheating batteries – the B787 runs almost entirely on electricity without the assistance of compressed air hydraulics – the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) speedily grounded the planes in USA.
Launch customer Qatar was kept waiting for a long while as the original launch target was 2012.
By mid-June 2013 the A350 had 613 firm orders in the bag and more have followed.