The Eye on Taiwan news staff
Taiwan’s major carrier the China Airlines (CAL) has taken delivery of its newest A350-900 aircraft, which features a unique joint livery that combines the airline’s distinctive plum blossom logo with Airbus’ exclusive A350 XWB carbon fiber pattern.
The two companies conducted a handover ceremony for the new aircraft at Airbus headquarters in France on Monday, according to CAL.
The ceremony was co-hosted by China Airlines Chairman Ho Nuan-hsuan and Airbus Executive Vice President Didier Evrard. Guests include Representative Wu Chih-chung from Taipei Representative Bureau in France and Senior Vice President Christophe Molus from the engine maker Rolls-Royce, CAL said.
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The new aircraft will be the first in Taiwan to feature a joint Airbus livery and the only Airbus joint liveried aircraft to feature corporate colors. The China Airlines and Airbus joint liveried aircraft will officially enter service on October 26 on the Taipei-Hong Kong route, the airlines said.
Ho was quoted by CAL as saying in a statement that the A350 fleet is the pride of the company and has flown approximately 47,780,000 km since it entered service in October 2016. The distance is enough to circumnavigate the globe 1197 times.
Over 2.65 million passengers have also been carried to major destinations around the world. The delivery of the fourteenth A350 Monday means that there is a good chance that the joint liveried aircraft can be seen in Asia, Europe, Oceania and the Americas in the future, Ho said.
Ho said CAL hopes that the arrival of the fourteenth A350 will further improve its passenger services and competitiveness.
Airbus Executive Vice President Didier Evrard said the 14th A350 handover is not only celebrated for all A350 aircraft have been delivered, but also witnessed the relationship between China Airlines and Airbus in the past 38 years.
At the same time, Airbus is also very proud that China Airlines chose the A350 to lead the expansion of its long-haul network. In addition, Airbus wants to congratulate on the cabin design of China Airlines A350. Its elegant, spaciousness and comfort are very popular with passengers. The design had also won a number of prestigious international design awards. All of these are richly deserved, Evrard was quoted as saying.
The livery of the A350 Airbus joint liveried aircraft was applied using spray painting, a departure from the traditional practice of digitally printed aircraft livery. The spray painting process itself is quite complex, CAL said.
Airbus’ classic carbon-fiber pattern creates a high-tech, woven geometric pattern that is complemented by the corporate identity colors of China Airlines. The spray painter’s art created a perfect fusion of the classic Airbus design and China Airlines’ corporate identity, the airlines said.
The first CAL A350 liveried aircraft features the Syrmaticus Mikado, a bird that is considered a national treasure of Taiwan. The Urocissa Caerulea was chosen as the theme for the second A350 liveried aircraft which was also the hundredth A350 to be delivered by Airbus – an important milestone, CAL said.
The design of China Airlines’ liveried aircraft serves as a showcase of Taiwan’s cultural and natural beauty. Whenever the liveried aircraft of China Airlines fly through the skies, they bring Taiwan to the attention of the world, Airbus said in a press release.
Following this delivery, CAL now has 14 A350-900 aircraft in its fleet. The airline operates these aircraft on non-stop long-haul routes, including services from Taipei to Europe and North America as well on selected routes in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Airbus.
Since entry into service in 2015, the A350 XWB has established itself as the new long-range leader in the larger twin-aisle category. Over 200 aircraft are already in service with 22 airlines, flying primarily on long-haul routes, Airbus said.
At the end of September 2018, Airbus had recorded a total of 890 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 46 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft programmes ever, it said.
Innovations introduced with the A350 XWB Family include the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage, and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these features translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared with older generation aircraft of the same size, as well as significantly lower maintenance costs, according to Airbus