Airbus rolls out A350-900ULR

By Bjorn Fehrm

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March 5, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus rolled out the first A350-900ULR the other day. The aircraft will be delivered to Singapore Airlines later this year. Singapore Airlines will use the aircraft to reopen the famous 20-hour flight, Singapore-New York. It will also fly to Los Angeles.

Airbus says the aircraft has a range of 9,700nm, but without saying under what conditions.  How many passengers can the aircraft take and in what type of seats are these sitting?

Figure 1. Airbus first A350-900ULR with modified wings, wing tanks and winglets. Source: Airbus.

We use our airliner performance model to bring clarity.

  • The A350-900ULR is touted as a 9,700nm range airliner. This is with restrictions on the number of seats and passengers, far from the nominal 325 seats capacity.
  • We use a method we learned from Qantas to evaluate the capacity of A350-900ULR.
  • With a Singapore decision to only offer Business and Premium economy seats for the ULR flights, the A350-900 will be space-limited for all flights except the Singapore-New York route.

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