Airbus is offering a reduced weight version of the A350 XWB that will allow airlines to benefit from lower charges when using the twinjet on medium-haul operations. It has also firmed up its plans to offer the aircraft with a 10-abreast seating layout.

"From the start we'll offer the A350 with different take-off weights and a 30t reduction is available that is suited to medium-haul operations for airlines that don't need the extra long range," says Francois Caudron, vice-president A350 customer and business development.

The lower weight will be achieved through paperwork changes and cockpit placards and will not affect the aircraft's structure. "An engine derate of up to 40% is also available," says Caudron.

Meanwhile, the 10-abreast high-density economy seating layout study for the A350 is now "on offer" says Caudron, adding that "there is a potential A350 customer that is interested" in the layout.

The A350 has an exit limit of 440 passengers with the standard four-door (per side) configuration, but this would increase to 475 with the optional additional fifth door installed, says Caudron.

However, while the minimum seat pitch for the A350 in nine-abreast layout is 29in (74cm), this will increase to 31in pitch for 10-abreast seating to avoid the need to reinforce the cabin floor for the higher density configuration.

Source: Flight International