Aeroflot to start operating the Airbus A350-900 early next year

Aeroflot From March 29, 2020, Airbus A350s will replace Aeroflot’s A330s on flights to New York (Airbus)

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot is to start operating all-new Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft during the first quarter of 2020. According to the airline’s flight schedule published on its website, an A350-900 will fly to New York from March 29, and to Beijing from May 1. Tickets are already available for purchase.

A source at Aeroflot has confirmed to Russian Aviation Insider the dates for the launch of long-haul international operations utilising the new type, but reveals that, prior to that, the new airliner will be used on several shorter crew familiarisation flights – the likely candidate routes for these are believed to be busy air lines such as Moscow to St Petersburg and Moscow to Sochi.

The new airliner addition will feature a three-class cabin configuration, with 28 seats in business, 24 in comfort and 264 in economy classes, a total of 316.

Aeroflot, which 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 A330s, as the airline plans to retire 10 such aircraft within the next three years. The A330-200 first joined the airline’s fleet in 2008.

The A350 delivery schedule shifted from the originally planned 2018 to 2019 and, later on, to 2020 (the first seven) and 2021 (a further seven).

After the tragic loss of a Superjet 100 in May, Aeroflot’s fleet currently has 252 aircraft, including 49 SSJ100s, 79 A320s, 36 A321s, 22 A330s, 47 B737s and 19 B777s.

Aeroflot has taken a cautious approach to its fleet expansion this year, as it plans to take delivery of two Boeing 777-300 wide-bodies and 10 Superjet 100 regional jets. Airbus aircraft are not on the supply list for this year.

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