Finnair A350-900 XWB.
Finnair will take delivery of its first A350-900 on Oct. 7. The first commercial flight will be Oct. 9 from its Helsinki hub to Oslo and Amsterdam, followed by other European cities including Brussels, Hamburg, London, Stockholm and Vienna on scheduled services.
The A350 XWB European launch customer has 19 of the type on firm order, to be received from 2015-2023.
The Finland flag carrier also announced it will postpone the A350 XWB long-haul launch schedule to Nov. 21, when the aircraft flies from Helsinki to Shanghai Pudong. The original launch date was Oct. 25.
Finnair adjusted the A350 long-haul launch schedule due to “changes in the expected delivery schedules of the company’s first A350 aircraft, the needs of the crew familiarization program and other operational factors,” it said in a statement.
“Introducing 19 new aircraft into our fleet over a period of eight years is a major program for Finnair.
We have built the necessary flexibility into our preparedness plans and our (seven) A340-300s exit plan to adjust to any changes that may arise over the course of this massive program, ensuring a smooth introduction of the new aircraft into our fleet,” Finnair COO Ville Iho said.
Finnair SVP-commercial division Juha Jarvinen previously told ATW it will phase out the A340-300s by late next year, leaving the carrier with a long-haul fleet of A330s and A350s, which takes it to 20-22 long-haul aircraft.
(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)