A-350 makes first appearance in Asia-Pacific

SINGAPORE - The Airbus 350 aircraft made its first public appearance in the Asia-Pacific at the Singapore Airshow, which opened on Tuesday.

Trade visitors were the first in the world to see the mid-size plane "perform" during the flying display segment.

The jet, which arrived here last Saturday evening, is one of two test A-350 planes that have gone on trial flights. Its European maker expects commercial flights to start in the fourth quarter of this year.

More than 800 orders - including 70 from Singapore Airlines (SIA) - have been made for the aircraft, which can be configured to carry between 200 and 400 passengers, depending on the model.

Other Asian carriers that have ordered the aircraft include Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

Over 70 per cent of the A-350's body is made from advanced materials, combining 53 per cent of composite structures with titanium and advanced aluminium alloys.

The A-350 will compete head-on with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has been flying commercially since 2011.

Scoot, SIA's budget arm which flies long haul, will be the first Singapore carrier to fly the B-787. The first of its 20 planes will arrive in November.

Scoot's B-787-9 will have 375 seats, the airline said on Monday.

Plans involving the deployment of the first aircraft are not finalised yet, but the B-787s will be used for all Scoot flights by the middle of next year.

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