Airbus has launched a new Ultra-Long Range version of the A350-900 which incorporates a number of changes over the standard A350-900, including a higher capacity fuel system within the existing fuel tanks which increases the fuel capacity from 141,000 litres to 165,000 litres.
Designated A350-900ULR (Ultra-Long Range), the aircraft will also have an increased Maximum Take-Off Weight and aerodynamic improvements.
Singapore Airlines which ordered 63 A350-900s, will take delivery of seven with Ultra-Long Range capable of flights up to 19 hours enabling service to the US West Coast, as well as to New York. In addition, the carrier has placed an additional order for four A350-900s, taking its total firm orders for the A350 XWB Family to 67.
Representing a distance of some 8,700 nautical miles, the Singapore-New York service will be the world’s longest commercial passenger route, with an expected flight time of up to 19 hours. Moreover, the unique flexibility offered by the A350 XWB allows operators to reconfigure their A350-900ULR to the standard long-haul A350-900 specification should they require it.
“Our customers have been asking us to re-start non-stop Singapore-US flights and we are pleased that Airbus was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “This is another example of how we strive to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations by remaining at the forefront of product and service innovation in our industry. It will also further strengthen the Singapore hub by providing the fastest and most convenient air connectivity between North America and Southeast Asia.”
“We are excited to be working with Singapore Airlines to re-launch its premium non-stop service to the US,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. “The A350 is the perfect, flexible platform for such operations, offering unrivalled operating economics for the very longest routes. And the wider and quieter cabin will provide the perfect environment for passengers to enjoy the world-famous Singapore Airlines in-flight product.”
The all-new A350 XWB entered commercial service earlier this year and features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.
Firm orders for the Airbus A350 XWB has reached 783 from 41 customers worldwide with Singapore Airlines being the largest customer in East Asia. Singapore Airlines is scheduled to take delivery of the A350-900ULR aircraft in 2018.