20 February saw Qatar Airways take delivery of the first Airbus A350-1000 at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.
During a question and answer session at the event, Marisa Lucas, Head of A350 XWB Marketing at Airbus (pictured), explained that the A350-1000 had been designed with pilot training in mind.
“I think for us, the most important thing is to keep the commonality, as we’ve mentioned before,” Lucas said. “We wanted to implement on the A350 all the new technology that we could. We are increasing the interactivity between the airplane and the pilot by including touchscreens on the A350-1000, that we will put on the -900 as well. We will bring all the new technology that we can, but always keep the same way of working in the cabin and the same commonalities.
“For us, the focus on pilot training is to make the airlines save money and, for the A350 part of the twin-aisle family we copied the A330, so it would have a common type rating with the A330. The most important thing is that to transition from an A330, which has a huge customer base for us – with more than 110 airlines in the world – if they complement their fleets with A350s with higher capacity, their pilots are able to fly one day on one and another day on the other. The transition training doesn’t even need a simulator. That’s what we’re after – saving costs and saving time for pilots.”