Aircraft orders secure jobs at wing-making factory
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced its latest customer order, and responded to a legal claim by one of its key flag carriers.
Airbus, which employs around 4,500 staff at its wing-making plant at Broughton, near Chester, confirmed that low-cost, long-haul airline French bee has taken delivery of its first A350-1000, on lease from Air Lease Corporation, to join its fleet and make the airline an all-A350 fleet operator.
The aircraft is the first of two A350-1000s to be operated by the carrier, a Groupe Dubreuil member, on route from Paris to Saint Denis de La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
The A350-1000s will complement the four A350-900 aircraft already in the French bee fleet, providing the airline with unrivalled operational flexibility and eco-efficient solutions for its network.
The aircraft features 480 seats in a two-class layout – 40 premium class and 440 economy class – providing all the comfort and amenities of Airbus’s Airspace cabin, including state-of-the-art, in-flight passenger entertainment (IFE) and full WiFi connectivity throughout the cabin.
The A350 cabin is also the quietest of any twin aisle aircraft.
The A350-1000, Airbus’s largest widebody in the twin engine category, features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, allowing the airline to fly long haul destinations up to 16,000 km.
Together, these elements translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency with 25% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions and 50% reduction in noise.
Simultaneously, the Dubreuil group also takes delivery of another A350-1000 on lease from Air Lease Corporation intended for Air Caraïbes, bringing the number of Airbus aircraft in the group’s fleet to 15.
At the end of November 2021, the A350 family had received 913 firm orders from 49 customers worldwide.
The manufacturer has also revealed that it has received a formal legal claim in the English courts filed by Qatar Airways, relating to the dispute over the degradation of surface and paint on certain of Qatar Airways’ A350XWB aircraft.
Airbus said it is in the process of analysing the contents of the claim and intends to vigorously defend its position.