Airbus is reported to launch the new A350-1000ULR aeroplane imminently. It will fly non-stop for 21 hours and carry more passengers than Singapore Airlines' A350-900ULR, which can fly for 19 years without stopping.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on August 15, 2019

Airbus, the European aeroplane manufacturer, is reportedly about to launch the A350-1000ULR, the aeroplane that can fly further than any other commercial plane and take more passengers.

Aviation Analyst reported that Airbus’ commitment to building the ultra-long-range A350-1000ULR follows extensive talks with a variety of airlines, many of whom have shown interest in potentially ordering, or converting existing Airbus A350 orders to an Airbus A350-1000ULR that will be able to fly further with more passengers than Airbus’ existing A350-900ULR.

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The A350-1000ULR will also take on Boeing’s 777X, and aeroplane manufacturer intends to have the aircraft available to airline customers before the 777X is able to gain a significant hold of the extreme end of the long-haul market, Aviation Analyst reported.

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The world’s longest-range aircraft is the Airbus A350-900ULR. Singapore Airlines exclusively operates the plane on routes from Singapore to Newark, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in the US. However, the aircraft is configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy seats — leaving Singapore Airlines’ profit margin at serious risk.

Australian airline Qantas wants to launch nonstop flights from Melbourne and Sydney to London and New York and in August 2017 Qantas called on Airbus and Boeing to build a plane capable of flying non-stop for 21 hours. It is to make a decision on whether it will buy Airbus’ A350-1000ULR or Boeing’s 777X in the final quarter of this year.

In June, the European aeroplane manufacturer said it had built a plane capable of meeting Qantas’ needs, although details were scant. Aviation Analyst reported that plane is the A350-1000ULR and a launch date is imminent.

The aeroplane manufacturer, based in The Netherlands, is reported to also to equip the A350-1000ULR capable of replacing the A380 jumbo planes on high-demand, long-haul flights.

Earlier this year, GCEO of Qatar Airways, H.E Akbar Al Baker, told Aviation Analyst: “Airbus has told us that from next year [2020] they will increase the maximum take-off weight of the A350-1000.”

“Once Airbus extends the maximum take-off weight of the A350-1000, this jet will be able to do, with lesser capacity, the same routes as the 777X, including to Australia.”

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British Airways have 18 A350-1000 jets on order, and will first deploy them on routes to the United Arab Emirates, Canada, and India.