Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific plan to use Airbus A350-900 on Perth services in next few years

F-WWYB Airbus A350-941 (MSN 005) owned by Airbus, at Perth Airport – Sunday 10 August 2014 First visit to Perth by an A350. This is the 5th development aircraft, which landed on Perth Airport’s runway 21 from Doha (Qatar) at 3:15pm, using callsign 'AIRBUS 402', signifying that it was the second flight in the fourth series of route proving flights. Seen here taxying to park at Bay 56 at 3:23 pm. It departed back to Doha at 11:17pm as 'AIRBUS 403', before continuing on to Moscow (Russia) and Helsinki (Finland), then back to Toulouse. F-WWYB completed its Route Proving trials from 24 July to 13 August 2014. Route Proving trials are required as part of Type Certification, to demonstrate the A350’s readiness for airline operations. Photo © David Eyre
F-WWYB Airbus A350-941 (MSN 005) owned by Airbus, at Perth Airport – Sunday 10 August 2014
First visit to Perth by an A350. This is the 5th development aircraft during the fourth series of route proving flights – it arrived from Doha (Qatar) and departed back there later in the night.
Photo © David Eyre

14 January 2016 – copyright © David Eyre

Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways have both separately announced their intention to use the new Airbus A350-900 on Australian services.

It was originally thought that Qatar Airways would be the first to use A350s to Perth, following announcements on 5 May 2014 by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker that his airline will replace the current Boeing 777 service with the new Airbus A350-900 in early 2015. This would have made Perth it one of the first routes for the new A350. However, the airline instead chose to continue to use Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on Perth services.

Singapore Airlines

F-WZFU (to be registered 9V-SMA) Airbus A350-941 (MSN 026) of Singapore Airlines, at Toulouse, France on 14 October 2015. Seen after being rolled out of the paintshop, prior to engines being fitted. Photo © Airbus
F-WZFU (to be registered 9V-SMA) Airbus A350-941 (MSN 026) of Singapore Airlines, at Toulouse, France on 14 October 2015.
Seen after being rolled out of the paintshop, prior to engines being fitted.
Photo © Airbus

Singapore Airlines regional vice-president Mr Tiow Kor Tan recently told Australian Business Traveller that following the initial 10 long-haul A350-900s  being delivered in 2016, subsequent A350s to arrive from 2017 will be configured with fewer business class seats for use on medium-haul routes, including Australian services.

Tan told Australian Business Traveller  that “eventually all (of Singapore Airlines) A330s will be replaced with the A350 medium-haul aircraft in 2017-18-19”

Cathay Pacific

Computer rendering of an Airbus A350-900 in Cathay Pacific's old livery. © Airbus
Computer rendering of an Airbus A350-900 in Cathay Pacific’s old livery.
© Airbus

In a separate article, Nelson Chin, Cathay Pacific’s Regional General Manager for South West Pacific told Australian Business Traveller that the airline is considering increased capacity to Perth and that “within the next 3-4 years, all the A330s would be switched over to A350s, so that would be the new minimum capacity that we’d have on any flight into Australia.”

The first of Cathay’s A350s is expected to make its first flight in March 2016.

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

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