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Airbus and Japan Airlines sign their first ever order, order covers 31 A350XWBs plus 25 options

8-Oct-2013 10:57 AM

Japan Airlines (JAL) signed (07-Oct-2013) a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWBs (18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. This is JAL’s first ever order for Airbus aircraft (although before the merger by Japan Airlines and Japan Air Systems (JAS), JAS ordered Airbus aircraft). It is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB. JAL and Airbus aim for entry into service from 2019, with the airline’s A350 XWBs gradually replacing its ageing fleet approximately over a six year period. Japan Airlines president Yoshiharu Ueki said: “We will utilise the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased. In addition to improving profitability with advanced aircraft, we always aim to deliver unparalleled services to customers with the latest cabin and steady expansion of our route network.” Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier said, "We sincerely welcome Japan Airlines as a new Airbus customer and feel honoured by this first ever order from Japan for our all-new A350 XWB. It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us. This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us, JAL and Airbus.” To date, the A350 XWB MSN1 has completed around 300 flight test hours out of the campaign’s total 2500 hours which are to be achieved by five flight test A350’s over the next 12 months. Entry into commercial service of the A350-900 is scheduled for 2H2014. With this latest commitment, Airbus has recorded more than 750 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 38 customers worldwide. Japan Airlines becomes the seventh Japanese carrier to select Airbus aircraft joining AirAsia Japan (soon to be re-designated as Vanilla Air), All Nippon Airways, Jetstar Japan, Peach Aviation, Skymark Airlines and Starflyer. Airbus said its aircraft in the region will double during the next five years and the company’s Japanese delivery backlog percentage has tripled from two years ago.  [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]