The Airbus A350 has been in service since January 2015, but still, only a handful of airlines operate it around the globe. There are actually three variants of the Airbus A350: the A350-900, the A350-900-XWB, and the A350-1000.
The first of those, the Airbus A350-900, or A359, has been in commercial service since 2015, as stated above. The next variant, the A350-900XWB, is designed to be an ultra-long-range aircraft that has higher fuel capacity over the A359. It can fly up to 19-hours within a 9,700-mile nautical range. The launch carrier of this prototype, Singapore Airlines, completed its maiden flight from Toulouse on April 23, 2018. It will be used to operate nonstop flights between Singapore and New York City once the delivery takes place to SQ this August.
The -1000 version will serve as a stretch of the -900, and be used to replace the Airbus A340-600. Its primary competitors will be the Boeing 777-300ER and future Boeing programmes such as the 787-10 and 777-9. The A359 was designed to compete with the 777-200ER and 787-9, and replace the Airbus A340-300 and Airbus A340-500.
Currently, there is only one Airbus A350-1000 in service, and that is on Qatar Airways. The remaining Airbus A350s that are in service are all of the -9000 variants with Rolls Royce engines. These are the following airlines that operate the A350:
- Air Caraibes
- Air Mauritius
- Asiana Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- China Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- French Bee
- Hong Kong Airlines
- LATAM Airlines Brasil
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways International
- Vietnam Airlines
There will hundreds of routes that the A350 is offered on through the rest of the year, and here are the ones where you are most likely to find it.
All maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz
This is probably one of the few airlines that you’ve never heard of, much less flown. Interestingly, their IATA code is, “TX,” but this is an airline that has little to do with anything pertaining to the Lone Star State. Based in Martinique, Air Caraibes only offers a fleet of 12 aircraft, consisting of propeller planes (ATR-72s), Airbus A330s, and Airbus A350s. It has 2 A350-900s in service and 3 A350-1000s on order.
|Fort-de-France - Paris Orly||sub-daily||year-round|
|Pointe-à-Pitre - Paris Orly||sub-daily||year-round|
The flag carrier of this tiny island in the Indian ocean shares similarities with the one above. It has a small fleet (~21 aircraft) consisting of short-range propeller planes, as well as a few long-haul Airbus aircraft, including the Airbus A340, and now, the A350. It has two in service and four on-order, entirely of the -900 variant. All routes are operated from its Port Louis hub.
|St. Denis de la Reunion||8 total||in April, May, and October|
Seoul-based Asiana is also a Star Alliance carrier and has a mixed fleet of narrow and widebody planes. It flies to short-haul markets as well as intercontinental markets, and the A350 has recently been deployed to a lot of its North American stations. The A350 will be a huge part of its fleet replacement program, as it has 4 of the -900 series in service and an additional 17 on order, plus 10 of the -1000 variants on order.
All A350 routes are operated from the Seoul Incheon hub.
|Hong Kong||1x only||in May 2018|
|New York JFK||daily||November onward (plus 4x in October)|
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways has 22 A350-900s in service with an additional 6 on order. It will also take delivery of 20 Airbus A350-1000s. All routes are operated from Hong Kong. All routes are from Hong Kong unless otherwise stated.
|Bangkok - Singapore||daily, sub daily starting in June||through November|
|Cape Town||sub-daily||starting November|
|Ho Chi Minh||multi-daily||June onward|
|London Gatwick||sub-daily, then daily||year-round|
|Newark||sub-daily, then daily||starting May 2018|
|Osaka||sub-daily||April, May, June, September, October|
|Rome||sub-daily||April, May and October onward|
|Sapporo||1x total||in May 2018|
|Seoul||sub-daily||April, May, August, September, October|
|Seoul - Taipei||1x total||April and May|
|Tokyo Narita||3x total||April and May|
China Airlines, based in Taipei, Taiwan, has 12 A350-900s in service, with an additional two on-order. All routes are from Taipei unless otherwise stated.
|Bangkok||sub-daily (except for July - Sept)||through October|
|Brisbane - Auckland||daily||year-round|
|Hanoi||4x monthly||April, and July onward|
|Naha (Okinawa)||sub-daily||through October|
|Saigon||3x total||April 2018|
|Seoul||2x total||May 2018|
|Shanghai||1x total||May 2018|
|Shenzhen||1, 4, and 5 total||October, November, December|
Delta Air Lines
Delta was the North American launch customer for the Airbus A350. The vast majority of its A350 long-haul operations are from its Detroit hub, but they also appear in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Delta has 8 in service and 17 on order.
|Atlanta - Seoul||daily||year-round|
|Detroit - Amsterdam||daily||year-round|
|Detroit - Beijing||daily through August, then sub-daily||year-round|
|Detroit - Seoul||daily||year-round|
|Detroit - Shanghai||sub-daily, daily (June-Sept)||year-round|
|Detroit - Tokyo Narita||daily||year-round|
|Los Angeles - Shanghai||sub-daily, then daily||July 2018 onward|
Ethiopian Airlines, based in Addis Ababa, has 7 A350s in service and 17 on order. All routes are from Addis Ababa
|Dar Es Salaam||1x total||April|
|Jeddah||sub-daily||April, May, July, Sept|
|London Heathrow||daily, multi-daily||year-round|
|Mumbai||multi-daily||May, November, and December 2018 only|
Finnair was one of the earliest launch customers of the Airbus A350 and has utilized this aircraft to transform the long-haul operations from its Helsinki hub. Previously, Finnair operated Airbus A330s and Airbus A340s to serve markets in the Middle East and Asia, but now has 11 A350s in service with an additional 8 on order to fly to these markets as well as seasonal routes to warm destinations. All routes are from Helsinki.
|Ho Chi Minh City||3 total||December-only|
|Krabi||6 flights total||December-only|
|Phuket||less than daily||December-only|
|Puerto Vallarta||3 total||December-only|
This is another airline you likely have not heard of, and ironically enough, this carrier has two Airbus A350-900s that have been around for some time. The airline used to be called French Blue, but in any case, it exists as a low-cost carrier connecting Paris to Tahiti, with a stopover in San Francisco.
|Paris Orly - Saint Denis de la Reunion||sub-daily||year-round|
|Paris Orly - San Francisco||sub-daily||May 2018 - onward|
|San Francisco - Papeete||sub-daily||May 2018 - onward|
Hong Kong Airlines
Hong Kong Airlines is a newer entrant to the North American market that is owned by HNA Group, the same parent company as Hainan Airlines. It has 4 A350s in service with an additional 15 on order.
|San Francisco||sub-daily||through November|
|Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA)||sub-daily||year-round|
Iberia does not have any A350s delivered (yet) but will begin to receive them in the next few months. It has already announced the initial A350 routes, including the ones below.
|London Heathrow||sub-daily||July and August|
|New York JFK||sub-daily (August), multi-daily (Sept/Oct)||August - October only|
LATAM Airlines Brasil
LATAM Brasil bases its A350s predominantly in Sao Paulo, with 5 in service and 12 on order. It also has a sub-fleet of A350s that are leased to Qatar Airways, and can be found on the following routes to Doha:
|Barcelona||daily||June - October|
|Doha - Beirut||daily||June - October|
|Doha - Kuwait||sub-daily, multi-daily||April/May|
|Doha - Munich||multi-daily||through October|
|Doha - Muscat||sub-daily||in April|
Lufthansa aims to use the A350 to replace its Airbus A340-300 and Airbus A340-600 aircraft. Since the vast majority of these planes are based in Munich, many of the first A350 routes on Lufthansa originate in its Munich hub. It currently has 8 in service and 17 on order.
|Chicago O'Hare||daily||April onward|
|Hong Kong||sub-daily||October onward|
|Mexico City||sub-daily||October onward|
|New York JFK||sub-daily||August onward|
|Shanghai||sub-daily||June - October|
|Tokyo Haneda||sub-daily, daily||May onward|
|Vancouver||daily||May - October|
Malaysia Airlines has 4 A350s and 2 on order. All routes originate in Kuala Lumpur.
|Tokyo Narita||Daily, multi-daily||May-onward|
Qatar Airways is the launch customer of the A350, and has the most of any carrier in service (23), with also the largest number of -900s on order (18) and the largest number of -1000s on order (36). It also has 1 of the -1000s in service.
|Muscat||sub-daily||May, October and November|
|New York JFK||daily||year-round|
Singapore Airlines has the second largest number of Airbus A350-900s in service (21), but has the largest on-order (46) which will place it ahead of Qatar Airways when all of them come online. It has opted for 16 of the -1000 variants.
|Moscow DME - Stockholm||sub-daily||year-round|
Thai Airways International
Thai Airways has 11 A350s in service and 1 on order, all of the -9000 family.
|Tokyo Haneda||daily, multi-daily||June-October|
Vietnam Airlines has 11 A350-900s in service and 3 on order.
|Hanoi - Frankfurt||sub-daily||year-round|
|Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City||multi-daily||year-round|
|Hanoi - Paris CDG||daily||year-round|
|Hanoi - Seoul||daily||year-round|
|Hanoi - Shanghai||daily||year-round|
|Hanoi - Tokyo Haneda||daily||year-round|
|Ho Chi Minh City - Frankfurt||sub-daily||year-round|
|Ho Chi Minh City - Paris CDG||sub-daily||year-round|
|Ho Chi Minh City - Shanghai||daily||through November|
|Ho Chi Minh City - Tokyo Narita||daily||July-onward|