With the first delivery planned for February/2016, Cathay Pacific Airways will set Auckland, New Zealand to become the first destination when A350´s long-haul operation starts in May/2016.
The initial year of A350 operation with Cathay will also see the aircraft being used to right-size its European route network, launch new long-haul thin routes while providing incremental growth opportunities for its constrained Australian operation.
From February to May/2016, Cathay plans 3 months of regional deployment for crew familiarisation and the build-up of engineering station support readiness that will see Manila, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, Singapore, Osaka Kansai, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam amongst the first cities receiving the carbon-fiber composite jet.
Source: Manuel Belleli
The A350-900 will be configured with 38 New Business Class, 28 New Premium Economy Class and 214 New Economy Class seats.
The current focus at the airline is the introduction of the A350-900 into its fleet, whose 1st full flight simulator (FFS) has been installed at the Flight Training Centre in the last week of May and the fuselage sections of its first example, MSN029, arrived at Airbus’s final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse on 29th May.
Cathay Pacific will receive 12 A350-900 on order in 2016 and the remaining 10 in 2017, which will feature the FB2+ New Business Class seats with customization by Germany’s Porsche Design Group, improved table and personal television positions; in-flight Wi-Fi; and a new Economy tray service, before deliveries of 26 A350-1000s begin in 2018.
Based on the article “Cathay Pacific plans May/2016 long-haul debut of A350” published in Aspire Aviation