Japan Airlines’ (JAL) first A350-1000 made its maiden flight on October 25, Airbus revealed. The aircraft, which will receive the registration number JA01WJ, took off from the manufacturer’s facilities in Toulouse, in the south of France.
JAL has 13 orders for the largest A350 variant and already operates 16 A350-900 version aircraft that began to be delivered in 2019.
The A350-1000 will initially be used on the Tokyo (Haneda)-New York (JFK) route and will assume the role of flagship long-haul aircraft, replacing the Boeing 777.
The debut of the Airbus was supposed to take place in November, but delays in the manufacturer’s supply chain postponed the first revenue flight until the end of the year.
Japan Airlines is also preparing the debut of a new passenger cabin with four service classes – First Class, Business Class, Economy Premium and Economy.
Despite taking the place of the Boeing 777-300ER, the A350-1000 will have fewer seats. There will be 239 seats compared to 244 seats in the US rival.
First class will drop from eight to six seats while Business class will expand from 49 to 54 seats. Premium Economy will also be smaller, with 24 seats instead of 40, offset by an increase of eight seats in Economy (155 versus 147).
Check out the video of the first flight of JAL’s A350-100: