(TOULOUSE) – Air Caraïbes today received its first Airbus A350 XWB and became the first French airline to operate the aircraft. By the end of March, a second A350-900 will also be added to the Air Caraibes fleet. Both will be positioned Paris Orly, the new aircraft will strengthen the company’s position on the Fort-de-France and Pointe-à-Pitre routes and will provide an additional 7% capacity on both routes in 2017 .
The delivery of the A350-900, registered F-HHAV, took place at 11:00 am at the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, in the presence of:
– Jean-Paul Dubreuil, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Air Caraïbes,
– Marc Rochet, Chairman of the Management Board of Air Caraïbes,
– Didier Evrard, General Manager of Airbus Programs,
– Eric Schulz, Civilian President Rolls-Royce,
– Philip Scruggs, President of AerCap.
The plane will leave Toulouse at 2 pm to join its Air Caraïbes family at Paris Orly South. On its arrival at 15:30, the firefighters of the airport perform a “Water Salute Welcome”, as is customary, for the first landing at an airport.
Air Caraïbes, the first French airline to operate the A350 XWB
Jean-Paul Dubreuil, Chairman of the Air Caraïbes Supervisory Board, commented: “It is with great pride that our group takes delivery of its first A350 XWB as part of a global order of four A350-900 and Three A350-1000 aircraft that will operate in the Dubreuil Group’s aerospace division. Becoming the first French airline to have Airbus’ newest airline allows us to measure the work accomplished by Air Caraïbes teams since 2003 and the beginning of the transatlantic network. The arrival of this first A350 XWB aircraft is another major step in the development of our company – today more than ever we are THE best company for service to the Caribbean. ”
Marc Rochet, CEO of Air Caraïbes, said: “The entry into service of the first A350-900 at Air Caraïbes illustrates our ambition to offer the best in terms of innovation and comfort to our passengers. Our customers have always been at the heart of our daily concerns. Being the first French airline to operate the aircraft, but also the first to operate A350 XWB flights on the routess Paris – Antilles, are reasons for joy and satisfaction for all the employees who actively participated in our success. With the A350-900, Air Caraïbes has a high-performance aircraft to continue its growth.”
“We are proud to note that Air Caraïbes becomes the first French airline to operate the A350 XWB,” said Didier Evrard, General Manager of Airbus Programs. “We are confident that the all-new A350 XWB will enable Air Caraïbes to strengthen its position in air transport to the Caribbean by providing its passengers with the best aeronautics sector has to offer. ”
The most modern and high-performance aircraft in its class
Designed specifically for long-haul flights, the A350 XWB is today the most modern aircraft in its class, equipped with the latest technologies.
Thanks to the use of advanced materials and composites the airplane is extremely light. Revolutionary “winglets” make it possible to optimize the aerodynamics of the aircraft whose wings change shape throughout the flight, like those of a bird. The new generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, specially developed to equip this unit, result in a significant fuel economy. Thanks to all these innovations, the A350 XWB considerably reduces its environmental footprint and passengers travel in a quieter cabin and for an average flight time of 20 minutes less for a Paris – West Indies route.
Re-engineered comfort for a new travel experience
The aircraft has the latest Airbus innovations for passenger comfort. Cabin pressurization, temperature control and air quality have been redesigned to give passengers better comfort and reduce the feeling of fatigue. These will evolve in a spacious cabin benefiting in particular from an unprecedented height of ceiling for a airplane in this category. In addition, the cab provides passengers with the largest and deepest luggage racks on the market.
The state-of-the-art 100% LED ambient lighting, capable of recreating daylight and sunrise at the right time, improves the quality of passenger sleep and reduces the impact of jet lag. The cabin is equipped with new ergonomic seats that provide passengers with more legroom and even a real Madras classroom. Air Caraïbes is thus the first airline to offer “Full Flat” seats on the Paris – Antilles route. Each row of seats on the sides of the cabin has a panoramic window.
For passenger entertainment, the company selected a 4th generation entertainment system from Thalès. It allows viewing in all classes on touch screens, with more than 150 hours of programming of films and series in HD. Passengers will have on-board high-speed wifi, accessible from mobile, tablet and computers **. Electrical outlets (in Caraibes and Madras classes) and USB ports are also available. From take-off to landing, cameras positioned on the aircraft allow the passenger to follow the entire flight.
A tri-class configuration that made Air Caraïbes a success
The company’s first A350-900, configured in three classes, can carry up to 389 passengers with remarkable comfort on its three classes of service:
• 18 passengers in Madras (Business) equipped with seats “Full Flat”, a first on the destination of the West Indies.
• 45 passengers in Caraibes (Premium Economy).
• 326 passengers in Soliel (Economy).
* XWB – Extra Wide Body – Fuselage extra large
** Available on board from September 2017