On Monday 12th October 2015, Brussels Airport had the pleasure of welcoming the Airbus A350 for the very first time. Around 09:15 LT, Finnair Airbus A350-941 OH-LWA landed on runway 25L as flight AY811 HEL-BRU.
Airbus A350-941 OH-LWA is the very first A350 for Finnair and was delivered to the airline less than a week earlier, on October 7th 2015. The airline had decided to operate the aircraft on a number of short-haul routes accross Europe (including London, Frankfurt and Brussels) during the first couple of weeks after delivery, for crew familiarisation purposes. This is a normal procedure when an airline starts operating a new aircraft type. One reason is that it allows typerated pilots to get more acquainted with the aircraft as it allows them to perform as much takeoffs and landings as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Finnair is the first European airline to operate the Airbus A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body) and the world’s third operator of this aircraft type (next to Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines). It expect to receive a total of nineteen A350’s through 2019. All Finnair A350 aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 engines.The Finnair Airbus A350 has been configured in a two-class cabin layout:
- Full-flat bed seats with direct access to the aisle
- Wi-Fi and additional wireless in-flight entertainment services
- Business Class meals accompanied by carefully selected wines
- Spacious Economy Class seats with 11-inch touch screens
- Economy Comfort seats in front of Economy Class with four inch more legroom
- Economy Class meals and drinks
The Finnair Airbus A350 will help the airline to raise the bar in passenger comfort and environmental performance. An eco-smart design brings more than 25% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the previous generation of aircraft. An advanced pure air filtration system changes cabin air every 2–3 minutes. Draft-free air management, adjustable temperature zones and lower cabin altitude make each flight time truly enjoyable.
Around 12:20 LT, the aircraft took off from RWY 07R at Brussels Airport, bound for Helsinki as flight AY812 BRU-HEL.
More photos can be found on my Flickr photostream.