China Eastern Airlines has accepted its first A350-900 at a ceremony in Toulouse, becoming the latest operator of the twin-engine widebody aircraft. As of October 2018, the Shanghai-based carrier operated an Airbus fleet of 356 aircraft, including 306 A320 Family aircraft and 50 A330 Family aircraft (figures at the end of October 2018). China Eastern is the largest Airbus operator in Asia and the second largest in the world.
China Eastern’s A350-900 aircraft features a four-class cabin layout of 288 seats: four first, 36 business, 32 premium economy and 216 economy. The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes, followed by flights to international destinations.
Airbus believes that the A350 XWB Family is particularly well suited to the needs of Asia-Pacific airlines and this has been evidenced by firm orders from carriers in the region representing over a third of total sales for the type.
The A350-900 and the A350-1000, and derivatives, are the longest-range airliners in operation, with a range capability of up to 9,700nm. At the end of October 2018, Airbus had recorded a total of 890 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 47 customers worldwide.