Japan Airlines has signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWB aircraft from European manufacturer Airbus in a deal worth approximately $9 billion.
The deal is the first between the Asian carrier and the plane maker, and also contains options for a further 25 aircraft.
The deal is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB, confirming its continuing success with world leading airlines across the globe.
JAL and Airbus aim for entry into service from 2019, with the airline’s A350 XWBs gradually replacing its ageing fleet approximately over a six year period.
The order is comprised of 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s.
“We will utilise the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, president, Japan Airlines.
“In addition to improving profitability with advanced aircraft, we always aim to deliver unparalleled services to customers with the latest cabin and steady expansion of our route network.”
In a typical three-class layout the A350-900 comfortably seats more than 300 passengers on routes as long as 8,100 nautical miles.
The A350-1000 is the largest member of the A350 XWB Family, seating 350 passengers on even longer missions up to 8,400 nm.
All A350 XWB models are equipped with the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
Over 70 per cent of the A350 XWB’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites, titanium and advanced aluminium alloys.
In addition to innovative materials, the A350 XWB brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies and provides significant improvement in fuel efficiency compared with competing models.
“Japan Airlines is well known as one of the most preferred airlines in the world providing its passengers with an excellent flight experience.
“We sincerely welcome Japan Airlines as a new Airbus customer and feel honoured by this first ever order from Japan for our all-new A350 XWB,” said Fabrice Bregier, president, Airbus.
“It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us.
“This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us, JAL and Airbus.”