The A350-1000—Airbus's new twin-engine aircraft—took off on the morning of Thursday 24 November for its first three-hour test flight, in the presence of several airline executives who have ordered the aircraft.
Scheduled to be commissioned in the second half of 2017 by the airline Qatar Airways, the European aircraft manufacturer's very latest long-range jumbo jet is hoped to compete with the Boeing 777, one of the American manufacturer's bestsellers. Equipped with Trent XWB-97 engines, the aircraft effortlessly completed a 4 h 20 min flight over southwestern France, during which the crew tested the flight envelope and the aircraft's manoeuvrability. Following the flight, Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier said: "Today we saw the A350-1000 in action for the very first time. It is the most modern and most efficient aircraft in the world." At 74 m long, the A350-1000 is the longest Airbus in production; it can seat 366 passengers in the conventional three-class configuration, forty more than the A350-900, and carry them 7,900 nautical miles. 195 aircraft have already been ordered.