China Eastern takes over first A350-900
China Eastern Airlines received its first Airbus 350-900, the world's most cutting-edge long-haul passenger aircraft, in Shanghai on Friday.
The 700th passenger aircraft of the Shanghai-based carrier landed at Hongqiao International Airport at 10:06am amid thick fog. It will serve as the new generation flagship jet of the airline, with the world's top cabin facilities and services.
The A350 is the world's most efficient passenger aircraft, with a range of 18,000 kilometers and top speed of over 1,000 kilometers per hour.
Lighter composite materials have comprised 70 percent of the aircraft body to help reduce fuel consumption by 25 percent. Carbon emissions and engine noise have also been largely diminished.
China Eastern's A350 has the world's first four-class configuration with a total of 288 seats, including 40 business-class suites. The cabin has fresher air and higher humidity, along with a cutting-edge lighting system to be able to simulate the ambiance of sunrise and sunset.
Entertainment facilities include large touch screens, bluetooth earphones and high-speed WiFi.
China Eastern has ordered a total of 20 A350-900s — its second will be handed over by the end of the year, with final delivery by 2022.
The first A350 will be deployed on the Hongqiao-Beijing route from December 4 and later expanded to other popular domestic routes like Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong Province and Chengdu in southwest Sichuan Province.
The A350 fleet will begin to fly outbound routes to Europe, Australia and North America from January 2019.
China Eastern currently operates Asia's largest Airbus fleet of some 360 aircraft.