Air France Takes Its 11th Airbus A350 – How Many More Will It Take?

French national flag carrier Air France has just received its 11th Airbus A350 as it continues to overhaul its long-haul fleet of planes. Continuing the tradition of naming its aircraft after French cities, Air France has named its latest arrival “Cannes” after the French Riviera resort town famed for its international film festival, upmarket boutiques, and palatial hotels. Air France selected Cannes for the aircraft after being associated with the film festival for the past 41 years.

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Air France has named its 11th A350 “Cannes.” Photo: Air France

In a statement published on July 6, 2021, Air France said that its 11th Airbus A350-900 has rolled off the production line in Toulouse and will soon make the journey north to its new home at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). After being given the registration number F-HTYJ, the aircraft will operate on Air France’s premium long-haul routes.

How the delivery works

Before Air France takes delivery of a new plane from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, specialists from Air France visit Toulouse to carry out a thorough check. They make sure that the aircraft conforms to all contractual specifications while spending five days at the Airbus facility. 

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The delivery process takes five days. Photo: Air France
  • Day One: A ground check of all external surfaces is carried out, and a static aircraft system, cabin, cockpit, and engine check
  • Day Two: The specialists carry out a flight check to ensure all the aircraft systems are behaving how they are supposed to
  • Day Three: A physical rework or provision for all technical and quality snags
  • Day Four: On day four, the Air France crew completes the technical acceptance attesting to the aircraft conforming to technical specifications and issuing the Airworthiness Certificate
  • Day Five: On day five, the deeds for the aircraft are transferred from Airbus to Air France, and the plane is then prepared for delivery to its home base

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The A350 is a new definition of comfort

Air France has configured all its Airbus A350 aircraft to carry 324 passengers in a three-cabin layout. Business class has 34 seats, premium economy has 24 seats, with economy class making up the remaining 266 seats. Onboard the Airbus A350 Air France, passengers enjoy the following:

  • A spacious and quiet cabin
  • Windows that are 30% larger
  • An optimized air pressure system that provides a more comfortable cabin atmosphere with regularly renewed cabin air
  • Lighting that adapts to the different flight phases
  • In business class, the seat turns into a real two-meter-long lie-flat bed, guaranteeing a  restful sleep
  • In premium economy, the brand new “Recliner” seat is 48cm wide and reclines to 124°
  • In economy class, the seat has been redesigned for even more comfort, with a reinforced ergonomic seat cushion, a 118° seat recline, as well as a 79-cm seat pitch.
  • Each cabin features large individual High Definition touch screens.
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Air France A350s can carry 324 passengers. Photo: Air France

To stay connected onboard the Airbus A350, customers can access the inflight WiFi service Air France CONNECT.

60 new A220-300s

In a move designed to modernize its entire long-haul fleet, between now and 2024, Air France will take delivery of 38 new A350 aircraft from Airbus. And it is not just the long-haul fleet that is getting an upgrade. Starting this September, Air France will begin to overhaul its short-haul fleet with the arrival of the first of 60 new Airbus A220-300 planes.

Have you flown on an Air France A350 yet? If so, please tell us what you thought about it in the comments.


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