Airbus confirmed this week at the Dubai Air Show that it has a customer for the “Budget Economy” product on its A350XWB aircraft. That means 10-across seating will be flying on the A350 a couple years hence. Mark Pearman-Wright, Head of Corporate & Investor Marketing Customer Affairs, confirmed in an interview at the show that a European leisure-market carrier has ordered the dense layout for its pending orders. Based on a review of the open order book this almost certainly indicates that Air Caraïbes will be that customer. Air Caraïbes has six A350s on order with deliveries initially expected for 2016 but more likely 2017. The French airline currently flies A330s in a 9-abreast layout; going 10-across on the A350 is not too surprising in that context.
The confirmation means that the A350 will see a budget economy layout before the A380 will, despite much noise around the potential for 11-abreast on the larger aircraft. This can be attributed to the A350 including the higher-density option as a catalog offering from the get-go. On the A380 the 11-abreast was discussed for some time but only became an actual product earlier this year at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. And, while going 11-abreast for the A380 may remove the need for an A380neo option in some ways it appears that no airlines are ready to do that. Yet.
Read More: Are you ready for 11-across on the A380?
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