Airbus
  • The Airbus A350-1000 entered service earlier this year with Qatar Airways.  
  • It's the latest in a new generation of fuel-efficient, carbon composite airliners to launch in recent years.
  • The A350-1000 is seen as a rival for Boeing 777-300ER and a replacement for the Boeing 747 jumbo jet. 

The Airbus A350-1000 entered service with Qatar Airways in February. It is the latest in a new generation of the fuel-efficient, carbon-composite, wide-body airliners to launch in recent years. 

With four-engine jumbo jets like the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380 quickly losing favour with airlines, smaller, more efficient twin-engine widebodies have taken their place as the industry's workhorse long-haul jets. In fact, Virgin Atlantic is expected to replace its 747-400s with a fleet of A350-1000s over the next few years. 

Thus far, the Boeing 777 is the most successful of the twin-engine wide-bodies with 1,988 sold since its debut in 1994. Launched in 2002, the Boeing 777-300ER is, by far, the most popular version of the twin-jet and accounts for about 42% of the plane's sales total. 

Airbus has 890 orders for the A350; 168 of which are for the Dash 1000. 

Until the A350-1000's arrival, Airbus didn't really have a true rival for the 777-300ER. The A330-300 had the size, but not quite the range while the quad-engine A340-600 had the range and the capacity, but was far less efficient. 

In fact, Qatar is actually operating the A350-1000 alongside its existing fleet of 777-300ERs. 

"The A350-1000 is performing very well in our fleet," Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said to a roundtable of reporters at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow in July. "Actually, it's performing better than what we envisaged."

According to Airbus, the A350 is capable of delivering 25% better fuel efficiency and a 25% unit costs compared to previous generation aircraft like the 777. 

"Yes, they are right," Al Baker said regarding Airbus's efficiency claims. "And this is why Boeing has launched the 777X to compete against the fuel efficiency of the Airbus A350-1000."

Qatar Airways also has orders in place for 60 of Boeing next-generation 777X airliners that are expected to enter service in 2020.

The Doha, Qatar-based airline was also the launch customer of the smaller A350-900 back in 2014. 

At the Farnborough Air Show, Airbus brought along an A350-1000 prototype for flight demonstrations while Qatar Airways showed off one of its Dash 1000s for guests and journalists. 

Here's a closer look at the new Airbus A350-1000:


Airbus brought two A350-1000s to the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow. One for flight displays and...

Business Insider/Benjamin Zhang


...The other, belonging to launch customer Qatar Airways, to serve as a static display.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


The first A350-1000 entered service with Qatar in February.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


The show plane is Qatar's second A350-1000 and first flew in May.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


The A350-1000 is just over 73 metres long, 5.7 metres wide and with a wing span of about 64.7 metres.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider


Apart from being 7 metres longer than the little brother A350-900, the Dash 1000 can be identified by its more robust triple axle main landing gears.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


It's powered by a pair of massive Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. 

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


According to Airbus, A350-1000 has a range of up to 15,500 kilometres

Business Insider/Benjamin Zhang


Let's step inside.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Qatar's A350s are split into two cabins; business and economy.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


At the front of the cabin are 46 private business class suites, called the QSuite.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe

Source: SeatGuru


Each suite is equipped with a 54 cm entertainment screen and allows access to 4,000 movies, TV shows, and music channels.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


There's also a video feed from a camera located on the plane's rudder.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Each suite is also equipped with a seat that transforms into a bed at the touch of a button.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Here are those buttons.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


The power operated window shades are a nice touch.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


The suites along the outside edge of the cabin are fairly traditional in their setup.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


However, the suites in the centre of the cabin are unique in that they are configurable.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


By configurable, I mean the dividers separating the suites can be lowered to create a communal setting for business meetings or...

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


...To share a nice meal.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Here's a Qatar Airways press photo with an overhead view of the QSuite.

Qatar Airways

Here, two of the suites are linked and set up for sleep.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Walk past the QSuites and you'll come up on the A350-1000s economy cabin with 281 seats.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe

Source: Seatguru


There are nine seats per row in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Each seat boasts 31-32 inches (78cm - 81cm) of seat pitch. Also, holy mood lighting Batman!

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Each seat is also equipped with an entertainment screen, power plug, and USB plug.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


In total, Qatar's A350-1000s have room for 327 passengers. In an all-economy layout, the A350-1000 can fly up to 440 people.

Business Insider/David Ibekwe


Thus far the Airbus has 168 orders for the A350-1000.

An Airbus A350-1000 prototype landing at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow.
Business Insider/Benjamin Zhang

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