Finnair aims to become the first airline to operate an Airbus A350 service to the USA, with plans to use a -900 for New York JFK flights before the end of the year.

The Oneworld carrier outlined its intention to deploy the type to the USA later this year in detailing a "slightly adjusted" A350 launch schedule today.

Discussions on possible start dates are ongoing between the carrier and JFK officials with a view to beginning services in December, said Rikke Munk Christensen, Finnair's head of traffic planning, at World Routes 2015 in Durban.

She declines to say definitively that the flights will begin before the end of the year, saying only that more details will be available in two to three weeks.

If Finnair launches A350 services to the USA in December, it would beat fellow Oneworld Alliance partner Qatar Airways to become the first airline to do so – albeit by a matter of weeks.

Doha-based Qatar will debut the A350-900 on its flights to Philadelphia on 1 January 2016.

Finnair had planned to introduce the A350 on flights to Shanghai Pudong from its Helsinki hub on 25 October but disclosed today that the launch would not occur until 21 November. It will begin European flights with the aircraft on 9 October.

In addition to New York, the airline plans to debut the A350 on flights to Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore before the end of 2015.

Source: Cirium Dashboard