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Fiji Airways adds new Airbus A350 planes to its fleet

May 6, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Fiji Airways is adding the Airbus A350 XWB to it fleet as part of its expansion plans to broaden its international network – and two planes will arrive before the end of this year.

The airline will lease two A350-900s from Dubai-based DAE Capital, making Fiji Airways the newest operator of the aircraft type, and DAE Capital the latest customer of the aircraft for Airbus. The planes are due to arrive in November and December 2019.

With its common type rating with the A330, Fiji Airways found the A350 XWB to be the natural aircraft choice to seamlessly join its existing fleet of four A330s.

The Nadi-based airline is doing well. It serves Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney from its Nadi hub and it operates six A330s, two of which are on short-term lease.

Airbus points out that the common rating between the A350 XWB and A330 means that pilots who are qualified and current on the A330 can already commence preparations to take the A350 XWB’s controls by undergoing “differences training” only, meaning a significant cost savings and operational flexibility.

The aircraft will be configured with 33 full lie-flat business class and 301 economy class seats. The aircraft will be deployed to enhance existing long-haul services between Fiji, Australia and the US, and to provide the opportunity to open additional routes.

Fiji Airways new Airbus A350 XWB

Apart from its Airbus dimension, Fiji Airways is also one of the few airlines in the region to have purchased and received the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. With the 737 MAX now grounded worldwide, Fiji Airways has obtained other 737 aircraft to replace its MAX while the global MAX grounding continues.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Airbus says these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions.

Edited by Peter Needham

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