The A350 enhancements, Part 1

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By Vincent Valery


Oct. 24, 2022, © Leeham News: Last month, Airbus announced that it started delivering A350s with a New Production Standard (NPS) with Iberia. The upgrades include weight savings, a maximum takeoff weight increase, and a longer and wider cabin.

A350 Fuselage. Credit: Airbus

Except for a few low-cost operators, the economy-class cabin on the A350 has usually featured a nine-abreast configuration with operators. The wider cabin could lead to a wider adoption of a 10-abreast economy class configuration with more A350 operators, for instance the legacy ones.

Despite the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on long-haul travel, several airlines still need to place sizeable twin-aisle aircraft orders in the coming years. The A350 enhancements could prove crucial in securing orders for Airbus against the competing Boeing 787 and 777X.

In this article series, we will assess how the A350 enhancements impact the economic performance of the aircraft against its main competitors. Before comparing competing aircraft, we define a methodology for consistent comfort standards among different aircraft families.

  • The A350 enhancements in detail;
  • A brief history of adding economy class seats in each row;
  • Assessing passenger comfort standards;
  • Upcoming twin-aisle sales campaigns.

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