Caribbean operator Air Caraibes has agreed to acquire three Airbus A350-1000 XWB aircraft, potentially becoming the fourth airline to order the type.

It already has three Airbus A330s as well as three A330-300s on outstanding order with the European airframer. But the carrier had been considering the A350 XWB for expansion and modernisation.

Airbus says the airline has signed a memorandum of understanding for the three A350s, for which the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine is currently the only available powerplant.

Air Caraibes intends to configure the aircraft in three classes, with 440 seats, and operate them from Paris to its Guadeloupe base, as well as on routes to Martinique and French Guiana.

Air Caraibes A330 
 © Philippe Noret/

"Aircraft commonality...will allow our pilots to transition efficiently to the A350 XWB," says Air Caraibes president Jean-Paul Dubreuil.

Rolls-Royce says the carrier has already agreed to order the Trent XWB engines for the type. The powerplants will be supported by a long-term maintenance agreement. Rolls-Royce values the package at over $250 million at list prices.

Three other carriers - Emirates, Qatar Airways and Asiana Airlines - have so far collectively ordered 50 A350-1000 aircraft.



  © Airbus (computer rendering by Fixion)


Source: Air Transport Intelligence news