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Japan Airlines’ first brand-new Airbus was delivered to the carrier at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Toulouse, France, on Thursday. The plane — an A350-900 — is one of 31 of Airbus’s wide-body aircraft the airline is adding to its fleet.
The new plane will serve flights between the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka and Tokyo’s Haneda airport. It is configured with 12 first-class seats, 94 in biz and 263 in comfort economy for a total of 369 premium seats.
JAL has ordered a total of 18 A350-900s that the airline says will be used for high-frequency domestic routes. An additional 13 A350-1000s are on order for the carrier’s long-haul flights.
This order marks a significant change in JAL’s aircraft strategy. Other than a group of A300s JAL acquired when it took over Japan Air System, the airline has historically flown Boeing aircraft for the majority of its flights, along with smaller regional planes from other manufacturers.
Airbus, which had long been looking to make inroads against Boeing in the Japanese market, celebrated its recent success there. The jetmaker noted on Twitter that “almost half of all new aircraft on order in Japan are for Airbus products.”
The first JAL A350 will enter service in September, with more deliveries coming soon.
Featured Photo of JAL’s new A350-900 courtesy of Airbus
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