China Eastern Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 in Toulouse – becoming the latest operator of the twin-engine widebody aircraft.
The Shanghai-based carrier now operates an Airbus fleet of 356 aircraft, including 306 A320s and 50 A330s (at the end of October 2018). China Eastern is the largest Airbus operator in Asia and second largest in the world. It has 20 A350-900s on order.
The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes, followed by flights to international destinations. It currently flies older variants of the A350 from Bejing to the likes of Sydney, Amsterdam, Vancouver and Frankfurt.
Airbus says the aircraft is particularly well suited to the needs of Asia-Pacific airlines. To date, A350 XWB firm orders from carriers in the region represent over a third of total sales for the type.
At the end of October 2018, Airbus has gained 890 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 47 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.