Finnair becomes the first European airline to receive its first Airbus A350 XWB
The first of Finnair's next-generation Airbus A350 XWB aircraft has been unveiled today at a special delivery ceremony at the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse, France.
Finnair is the first European airline to fly the Airbus A350 XWB.
"This moment heralds a new and exciting chapter in Finnair's 92 year history. The A350 is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience," said Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.
"This is also a proud moment for all Finnair employees who have worked relentlessly on the Finnair A350 programme. From route planning to pilots and cabin crew, from technical services to marketing, this is the moment we have worked for. With the A350, we get the fleet that our strategy requires, and we can start building our growth," Vauramo continued.
"At Airbus, we're proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350's unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair's Asian expansion."
Finnair intends to double its Asian traffic by 2020 from the 2010 baseline, and the A350 fleet investment is the backbone of this strategy. The company has ordered a total of 19 A350's, making it the biggest investment in Finnair's history. The first four aircraft are expected to arrive in the fleet in 2015, with another seven being delivered in 2016 and 2017. The complete order will be fulfilled by 2023.
The new A350 aircraft also plays a key role in Finnair's cargo strategy, providing up to 50% more cargo capacity by 2020.
The A350's first scheduled commercial flight, from Helsinki to Amsterdam and Oslo will be on October 9, 2015 as part of its crew familiarisation tour. The first Finnair Airbus A350 XWB will enter into long-haul service on November 21, 2015 on Finnair's Helsinki-Shanghai route.
Notes to the Editor
After the delivery ceremony, the A350 XWB will make its first flight to Helsinki from Toulouse. Finnair flight AY1350's progress can be monitored on social media (@Finnair on Twitter, #A350Finnair).
Finnair Media Desk, +358 9 818 4020, comms(a)finnair.com
Finnair A350 press kit: http://bit.ly/1P3m0UV
Finnair Gallery: http://gallery.finnair.com
Finnair on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Finnair
Finnair blogs: http://blogs.finnair.com
Finnair on Facebook: www.facebook.com/finnair
Finnair Group website: www.finnairgroup.com
Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki, carrying more than nine million passengers annually and connecting 15 cities in Asia with more than 60 destinations in Europe. The airline, a pioneer in sustainable flying, is the European launch customer of the next-generation, eco-smart Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and is the first airline listed in the Leadership Index of the worldwide Carbon Disclosure Project. The only Nordic carrier with a 4-star Skytrax ranking, Finnair has also won the World Airline Award for Best Airline Northern Europe for the past six years running. Finnair is a member of oneworld, the alliance of the world's leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers.