The first Airbus A350-1000 destined for British Airways has completed its customer acceptance flight. The aircraft flew for around two and a half hours having departed from Toulouse. The flight marks another huge milestone completed before the aircraft gets delivered to British Airways.
British Airways is expecting to receive four Airbus A350-1000s by the end of the year. The first aircraft, G-XWBA, has now flown four times in total. The aircraft appears to be almost ready to hand off to British Airways. However, the airline is yet to announce the date of the aircraft’s delivery.
The acceptance flight is an important milestone in the delivery of any commercial aircraft, however, this is even more important for the first delivery of a type. “What is an acceptance flight?” you may ask. Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out more.
An acceptance flight of an aircraft will usually be the aircraft’s first flight with staff from its target airline on board. In the case of the British Airways A350-1000, staff from British Airways and Airbus would have been on board.
The aim of the acceptance flight is for the airline to confirm that they are happy with the aircraft that has been built for them. If they are not happy, any faults are dealt with by the manufacturer. However, if the customer is happy, the next step is usually to progress on to the aircraft handover.
Earlier, British Airways’ first Airbus A350-1000 took its delivery flight from Toulouse. The aircraft flew for just under 2-hours and 30-minutes, bringing its total flight time to date to 15-hours and 22-minutes according to AIB Family Flights. The aircraft mainly flew over the south of France, briefly flying above the Bay of Biscay.
Assuming the customer acceptance flight went well, the next step in the aircraft’s life will be to hand it over to British Airways. Airbus sometimes host a delivery for special deliveries such as the first aircraft of a type. Simple Flying was fortunate to be able to attend ANA’s first A380 delivery earlier in the year.
However, the delivery process is entirely down to the airline. They get to chose whether to host a celebration or not.
Following delivery, the airline is likely to spend some time getting accustomed to the aircraft. BA’s A350 will then start flying short hops to Madrid to allow for crew training. It is much easier to iron out small issues on short hops than to discover them at the start of a long journey.
British Airways is then set to debut the A350 on long haul services flying from London to Toronto on October 1st. A week later, the aircraft will also start serving Dubai on the 8th of October.