French plane maker Airbus is holding a test flight in Manila today (Thursday) for its quietest and most efficient long-range aircraft yet, the A350-1000.
The Philippines leg, in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, is the last stop in a whirlwind three-week demonstration tour in the Asia Pacific region.
Expected to attend are officials from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and Philippine Airlines (PAL), which ordered six A350-900s in 2016. Those planes, which have slightly less capacity than the A350-1000’s 366 seats, will be delivered starting mid-2018.
Tours such as these are meant to promote new aircraft and hopefully convince potential airline buyers to choose Airbus, which is in fierce competition with United States-based Boeing.
Airbus held a similar event in Manila for its A350-900 in May 2015. PAL ordered its A350s less than a year later, during the 2016 Singapore Air show.
With fuel prices on the rise, Airbus touted the A350’s efficiency. It said the aircraft costs 25 percent less to operate than “previous generation” competitor aircraft. It also generates 25 percent less carbon emissions.
Airbus likewise said the A350 is the quietest of all twin-aisle airplanes. Its cabin is four times quieter than the B787, briefing materials from the company showed.
Airbus said 14 major airlines have placed orders for 287 A350 XWB planes. This accounted for a third of the 854 orders recorded so far worldwide.