China Airlines , one of Taiwan's leading international carriers, said Friday that it will take delivery of its first Airbus A350 aircraft in the third quarter of the year.
The assembly of the A350-900 XWB (Extra Wide Body) jet airliner, including cabin furnishings and engine installation, has been completed at an Airbus plant in Toulouse, France, CAL said.
Ground trials and a test flight will be conducted in early September and delivery is scheduled by the end of the month, CAL said.
The delivery of CAL's first A350-900 XWB had been scheduled for July but was postponed due to delays on Airbus' assembly lines.
CAL, the first carrier in Taiwan to include the wide-body A350s in its fleet, has ordered 14 of that model and is expected to take delivery of another three by the end of the year.
According to CAL, the A350-900 XWB has the most advanced production technology and its high-end production materials have resulted in a lighter and safer model.
In addition, the eco-friendly aircraft is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent, which will help lower maintenance costs, CAL said.
The airliner is equipped with the newest Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, providing a quiet and comfortable flying experience, CAL said.
CAL said its first A350-900 XWB will carry the airline's plum blossom logo on the tail and has a seating capacity of 306 -- 32 in the business class, 31 in premium economy, and 243 in economy.
The new aircraft will operate initially on regional routes such as Taiwan-Hong Kong and later will be used for long haul flights to Amsterdam, Vienna, Rome and other European destinations, Cal said.
With the delivery of four A350-900 XWBs by the end of the year, the company will be better able to meet demand during the year-end holiday season, said CAL.
In April, CAL unveiled a bird-themed logo for its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft, with the aim of promoting Taiwan's attractions.
A Mikado pheasant, a species endemic to Taiwan, will adorn the fuselage of CAL's first A350-900s, while a Formosan blue magpie will be featured on the second jet, the carrier said.
Source: Focus Taiwan