The first Airbus A350 for Sichuan Airlines (3U) arrived in Chengdu on August 9, 2018. It took off from Toulouse at 19:00 on August 8 for its delivery flight and, after 10 hours of flying, it landed at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport (CTU/ZUUU) at 11 a.m. on August 9. After the aircraft landed, Sichuan Airlines held a celebration with a water cannon salute at the airport.
This A350-941, registration B-301D, is painted in panda special livery. The panda is a symbol of Sichuan Province, and it represents joy and welcome. Airbus delivered the aircraft on August 8; “8” is a lucky number China.
In the next few days, the aircraft will head for Zhuhai Jinwan Airport (ZUH/ZGSD) for a training flight and will begin test flights on the route between Chengdu and either Beijing or Shanghai. On August 16, the panda aircraft will have its first commercial flight. The A350 will fly in Sichuan’s domestic network over the next few months will join the new route between Chengdu and Boston in December.
Sichuan Airlines was set up on August 29, 2002. It has the biggest all-Airbus fleet in China, with 124 A320 series aircraft and 12 A330 series aircraft. Sichuan Airlines will receive two more Airbus A350s in the future. The Airbus A350 will provide Sichuan Airlines with a greater ability to expand its international route network.
Featured image by Lin Fangchao