The A350 XWB has made its Australian debut

01 Sep 2014

Earlier this month the Sydney airport became the first airport in Australia to welcome the new Airbus A350 XWB.

The A350 XWB is expected to become operational with commercial airlines later this year with the stop at Sydney airport the penultimate proving flight for the aircraft.

Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said it was fitting Sydney Airport was the first stop in Australia for the A350 XWB, as the airport hosted the first commercial service of the massive A380 seven years ago.

"The A350 family features a fuselage comprising more than 50 per cent composite materials which means it is lighter, requires less fuel to operate and is more efficient to maintain," she said.

"It has a longer range than existing models of its type, capable of flying up 8,500 nautical miles - which would allow non-stop services from Sydney to many more destinations, including many US cities and virtually all of South America. It will also be able to carry up to 400 passengers, depending on seat configuration which will open up new routes and destinations for airlines."

The flight was part of the A350 XWB's 14-stop Route Proving World Tour. While in Sydney Airport, it was required to demonstrate normal airline turnarounds using the handling services at the airport.

The A350 XWB was on its way from Johannesburg, South Africa and the following day the aircraft made its debut flight in New Zealand, stopping off at Auckland International Airport.