Monday, November 12, 2012

► LIBYA: Afriqiyah orders 4 more A350-900s in preparation for future US, Asia route launches.

AfriqiyahLibya's Afriqiyah Airways (8U) has announced an increase in its Airbus A350 XWB fleet with a new firm order for four A350-900s. The carrier has also converted its original order for six Airbus A350-800s into six of the larger A350-900 model bringing Afriqiyah’s total number of the type on order to ten Airbus A350-900s. 

An Artist's rendering of an Afriqiyah A350
An Artist's rendering of an Afriqiyah A350 (TurboSquid)
Afriqiyah’s A350 XWBs will seat 314 passengers, offering them the industry’s ultimate cabin experience. These aircraft will be operated on new routes the carrier will open to destinations in the US, the Middle East and Asia.
Having Afriqiyah come back with this new, incremental order for the A350 XWB is great news and a strong signal that this aircraft is the industry’s new benchmark in the long-haul segment,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “We are convinced that the A350’s unbeatable economics and superior passenger comfort will be key contributors to Afriqiyah’s continued success.
Source [Airbus SAS]
The A350 XWB has already won 562 firm orders from 34 customers worldwide though like its competitor, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, has had its fair share of delays, the latest being a glitch related to its wings which will delay the A350-900s entry into service by three months until the second half of 2014. The -800 is scheduled for service in mid-2016, whilst the -1000 version will start ops in 2017.

In August, Afriqiyah converted a previous order of 3 Airbus A321s into an order for three Airbus A330-300s in a sign that the carrier is slowly but surely returning to the international scene.