Russian aviation regulator Rosaviatsiya has awarded a type certificate to Airbus’ newest wide-body A350, thus approving its operation by Russian airlines, ahead of its service entry with the country’s debut customer Aeroflot.
The certificate with registration number FATA-01047A is valid for one version of the type, the A350-900, which was issued and quietly handed over to the manufacturer on December 13, 2019.
Aeroflot is the type’s launch customer in Russia, with the country’s national carrier expecting the first delivery of the all-new wide-body in the first quarter of 2020. At least two aircraft featuring Aeroflot’s livery have been spotted at Airbus’s Toulouse base, all ready to enter service with the Russian airline.
According to the carrier’s flight schedule published on its website, the A350-900 will operate to New York from March 29 and to Beijing from May 1. Prior to that, the new airliner will be used on several shorter crew familiarisation flights, with the likely candidate routes for these believed to be busy air lanes such as Moscow to St Petersburg and Moscow to Sochi.
Aeroflot’s A350-900s will come in three-class cabin layouts offering a total of 316 passenger seats: 264 in economy, 24 in comfort and 28 in business class configuration.
The airline, which has plans to add 28 Airbus A350-900s to its fleet, has so far placed firm orders for only 14. Some of these are intended to replace its A330s, as the airline plans to retire 10 such aircraft within the next three years.
The current A350 to Aeroflot delivery schedule is seven aircraft in 2020 and a further seven in 2021.
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