A short-lived operator at Gatwick, Hong Kong Airlines, has become the latest operator of the Airbus A350 XWB, the 15th carrier in total. Altogether, the airline will acquire 21 Airbus A350 XWBs, including 15 purchased directly from Airbus and six on lease from third-party lessors. Its current all Airbus fleet stands at 35, with 11 A320s, 23 A330s and the first A350.
Hong Kong Airlines has configured its A350-900 with a premium three-class layout with a total of 334 seats, comprising 33 in Business Class, convertible to fully lie-flat beds, 108 in its new cabin class “Economy Comfort” and 193 in Economy Class. Full in-flight connectivity is offered. After an initial period flying on regional routes, Hong Kong Airlines’ A350-900 will begin long-haul operations in December, flying on the carrier’s non-stop service to Los Angeles.
To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 848 firm orders (against 1,278 of the Boeing 787) for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful wide-body aircraft ever. With 287 of the orders for the A350 from carriers in Asia-Pacific, the region represents more than a third of total sales for the type to date.