Airbus has delivered on 22 September the first A350-900 Ultra Long Range (ULR) aircraft to launch customer Singapore Airlines.
The latest variant of the A350 XWB is capable of flying further in commercial service than any other aircraft, with a range of up to 9,700 nautical miles, or over 20 hours non-stop. Altogether, SIA has ordered seven A350-900ULR aircraft, configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.
SIA will begin operating the A350-900ULR on 11th October, when it will launch non-stop services between Singapore and New York. With an average flying time of 18 hours and 45 minutes, these will be the world’s longest commercial flights. Following New York, the aircraft will enter service with SIA on two more non-stop transpacific routes, to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The A350-900ULR is a development of the A350-900. The main change over the standard aircraft is a modified fuel system, enabling the fuel carrying capacity to be increased by 24,000 litres to 165,000 litres. This extends the range of the aircraft without the need for additional fuel tanks. In addition, the aircraft features a number of aerodynamic enhancements, including extended winglets, which are now being applied to all in-production A350-900 aircraft.
As at the end of August 2018, Airbus had recorded a total of 890 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 46 customers worldwide. Almost 200 A350 XWB aircraft have already been delivered and are in service with 21 airlines, flying primarily on long-range services.
Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. With this delivery, the airline’s A350 XWB fleet now stands at 22 aircraft.