Air France is getting ready to enter its 7th Airbus A350 into service next month. The flag carrier of France has already given the plane a new name ahead of its first flight in Toulouse this week. This A350-900 won’t be the last to enter the fold by any means. The airline is expecting at least 31 more units to join this decade.
A suitable name
The aircraft is named after Reims, the most populous city in the Marne department, in the Grand Est region of France. Air France has a history of nicknaming its A350 aircraft after names of French cities. F-HTYG will join the company of Toulouse, Lyon, Saint-Denis de La Réunion, Nice, Bordeaux, and Marseille when hitting the skies for the operator.
— Philippe DURAND (@A318111) January 28, 2021
France Bleu highlights that commercial services for this plane are expected to start in March 2021. Following this, there are many more additions to come in the years ahead. Altogether, Air France is planning to take on a total of 38 units by 2025. These will be deployed well on long-haul routes across the continents. Passengers flying to the likes of the United States, Mali, and Thailand can expect to be transported on the widebody.
Eurofilms documented the plane’s first flight in Toulouse Blagnac this week in the video below:
A strong presence
The Air France A350s will have a prominent role this decade following the retirement of the carrier’s A380 aircraft. Last May, the airline announced the retirement of its remaining nine units of the superjumbo. This event was initially intended for 2022, but the pandemic brought plans forward.
Just before the rise of the global health crisis, the Air France-KLM Group confirmed that it had decided to place a firm order for 10 additional A350-900s. Air France-KLM Group CEO Benjamin Smith spoke about the advantages of the aircraft. Altogether, his firm is looking forward to the efficiency benefits to be had.
“Rationalising and modernising the fleet is central to our effort to regain our leading position in Europe,” Smith said in a press release seen by Simple Flying.
“It will strengthen our performance from both an economic and operational standpoint, and will help us deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda. Offering a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to previous-generation aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 is a jewel of European expertise and a passenger favorite. We are excited to see it become a core asset of the Air France fleet.”
Hope for the future
Overall, despite the harsh climate amid the travel restrictions amid the pandemic, all of Air France’s Airbus A350s are still active. After conditions improve, Air France shouldn’t have a problem putting its incoming units to use across the globe.
Simple Flying reached out to Air France for additional details about its Airbus A350 aircraft delivery plans. We will update the article with any further announcements from the airline.
What are your thoughts about Air France’s Airbus A350 aircraft? Have you flown on any of the carrier’s units in the past? Let us know what you think of the type in the comment section.