A350-1000 will not have fifth pair of exits

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Airbus insists it is not changing the door configuration on the A350-1000 despite the prominent display of a model featuring a fifth pair of exits during a global technical briefing.

The additional exits, a pair of smaller doors between the two pairs of main doors aft of the wing, had appeared on a rendition of the Cathay Pacific A350-1000 when the carrier ordered the type during the Farnborough air show last year.

Airbus subsequently claimed that the illustration - which featured in a video of the aircraft in Cathay's livery - had been erroneous.

But the extra doors also featured on a large model of the A350-1000 positioned on the stage during a broad Airbus briefing on 5 June - a model which had been updated to include the characteristic black cockpit window frames on the type.

a350-1000 model

A350 programme chief Didier Evrard tells Flightglobal that the doors were considered as an option for customers wanting higher-density seating arrangements with a 10-abreast cabin.

But he says that Airbus has since backed away from the concept. "The A350-1000 will only have four [pairs of] doors," he says, stressing that these will be sufficient for evacuation.

cathay a350-1000

 Airbus

While Airbus had toyed with the extra exits, Evrard insists their continued inclusion in publicity material is a "mistake".

The 370-seat Boeing 777-300ER, against which Airbus is pitching the 350-seat A350-1000, is fitted with five pairs of doors.

Airbus's illustrations of the -1000 have typically shown the aircraft with four pairs of exits, two forward and two aft of the wing.