ITA Airways’ first Airbus A350-900 made its maiden flight this week in Toulouse, France. The long-range widebody aircraft will be delivered to the Italian carrier in June and will begin service weeks later on routes between Rome and cities such as Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.
Unlike the A330-900neo that the airline will use in the future, all A350s are leased in order to fill the gap left by the departure from service of the Boeing 777s that were operated by Alitalia.
With a two-class configuration, the ITA A350 will have the capacity to carry 334 passengers (33 in business and 301 in economy).
The first A350-900, registration EI-IFB, was manufactured in 2018 and should have been delivered to Hong Kong Airlines.
The aircraft was leased from the Air Lease Corporation (ALC), along with seven other jets of the same type – ITA also signed a contract with the Kuwaiti company ALAFCO for four other A350s.
“The introduction of the Airbus A350 in the ITA Airways fleet represents an important step towards sustainability and is in line with the objectives of the international ‘Fit for 55’ package, whose objectives are shared by ITA Airways,” the airline said.