Asiana Airlines, one of Korea’s and Asia’s leading airlines, has added its first Airbus A350 XWB (MSN 0094) to its fleet. The A350-900 was delivered by SMBC Aviation Capital and is the first of a six A350-900 sale and leaseback deal which also includes the financing of Pre-Delivery Payments due to the aircraft manufacturer. The aircraft is also the first A350 XWB to be operated by a Korean airline. SMBC Aviation Capital, together with Airbus and Asiana celebrated receipt of the aircraft at the Airbus facility in Toulouse.
Before being deployed on long haul flights to Europe, the aircraft will first be operated on the Seoul to Hong Kong and Manila routes. It will be fitted with Rolls Royce Trent XWB-84 engines.
Speaking on the occasion of the delivery of the airline’s first A350 XWB, Mr. Soo-Cheon Kim, President and CEO of Asiana Airlines said, “Today’s delivery begins a new chapter in our history bringing significant enhancements to our fleet. This A350-900 aircraft will provide us with operational advantages across our long-haul network enabling us to expand our global footprint. This is an aircraft that will offer our passengers the latest and newest cabin developments to make their journey an exceptional passenger experience.”
This is also the first A350 XWB to be added to the SMBC Aviation Capital portfolio. Three more A350 XWB aircraft will be delivered in 2017 and two in 2018.
Peter Barrett, CEO of SMBC Aviation Capital, said: “This milestone transaction cements our long standing relationship with Asiana, one of Asia’s leading airlines, while also expanding our footprint in the Asia Pacific region, one of our largest markets worldwide. We are committed to growing and developing our customer relationships and financing these types of large scale transactions where there is an appetite with our customers.
We look forward to building on this partnership and continuing to work with Asiana and Airbus into the future.”
Fabrice Brégier, CEO of Airbus, said: “We are delighted to deliver the first A350 XWB to Asiana which will provide an unrivalled flying experience across Asiana’s extensive long haul network.”
Asiana was one of SMBC Aviation Capital’s first customers in Asia. Both companies have now worked together for over 14 years.Date: April 24, 2017