Yemenia-Yemen Airways opts for the A350

Yemen's flag carrier will order up to 10 of Airbus' 'next generation' fuel efficient planes.

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By  David Ingham Published  March 6, 2006

Yemenia-Yemen Airways has signed a preliminary agreement with Airbus for the acquisition of six A350 aircraft, with options for another four. In a statement, Airbus said the selection followed ‘a thorough evaluation of the aircraft type and its competitor’, presumably the Boeing 787. "We are delighted to have secured the future of our long-range fleet with the Airbus A350 in the next decade,” said Captain Abdulkhaled Al-Kadi, chairman of Yemenia-Yemen Airways. “We are looking forward to introducing the aircraft on intercontinental routes to and from Yemen. “Yemen Airways is on the right track to implement its fleet modernisation program, and is preparing for growth. Recent business trends are remarkably positive. Yemenia is expecting double digit growth annually; this is why there is a need to focus on the fleet, human resources training, automation and networking.” Delivery of Yemenia's A350s will start in 2012, and the aircraft will be configured in a two-class configuration, with seating for 18 passengers in First Class and 265 in Economy. The engine supplier is still to be selected. Airbus launched the A350 in response to Boeing’s Dreamliner, now known as the 787. Both planes, which are still in development, seat 250-300 people and are designed to offer optimum operating efficiency as well as passenger comfort on medium and long haul routes. Gustav Humbert, president and CEO of Airbus, said: “We are proud to start another chapter in the long and fruitful co-operation with Yemenia-Yemen Airways. The new A350s are the perfect tools for the airline to further develop its services from Yemen to Europe and Asia. Yemenia’s choice of the A350 is also another endorsement of Airbus’ new 250-300 seat aircraft programme and confirms its success with customers.” Yemenia’s decision brings the total number of orders and commitments for the A350 to 182 planes from 14 customers.

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