Toulouse - China Eastern Airlines received the first of twenty Airbus A350-900 ordered. The aircraft is 220th copy delivered by Airbus since the launch of the program.
Based at Shanghai Pudong Airport, the Chinese company received on November 29 its first A350-900 registered B-304D. The device is configured to accommodate four passengers in first-class suites, 36 in business class (1-2-1), 32 in Premium (2-4-2) and 216 in Economy (3-3-3).
The aircraft will make its commercial debut in the coming weeks on domestic routes. The international routes that the plane will serve will be detailed later.
China Eastern expects one more Airbus A350-900 by the end of this year, three more in 2019, two in 2020 and the last thirteen between 2021 and 2022.
Airbus's A350XWB family aircraft are already in service in the country with Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, and Air China. Within two years, the SkyTeam alliance carrier is also expected to introduce three new next-generation aircraft types - the A320neo (70 on order), the Boeing 737 MAX 8 (57 on order), and the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (14 on order). The delivery dates of the twenty Comac C919 have not been specified yet.
The MSN248 is the 78th A350 delivered this year and the 220th since the launch of the A350XWB program. Airbus recalls in its statement that the Chinese company currently operates 356 Airbus, including 306 single-aisle and 50 A330 family aircraft, making the airline the biggest customer of the European manufacturer in Asia.