French Bee, the first French low-cost long-haul airline, has become the first airline to operate solely with Airbus’s newest aircraft, the A350-900 XWB, and celebrates the arrival of a new aircraft in its fleet, the F-HREY.
Until now, French Bee flights were operated by two Airbus A350s (F-HREV and F-HREU) and one Airbus A330-300 (F-HPUJ). The latter will now join the Air Caraïbes fleet, a sister company of French Bee. With its 411 seats, made up of 35 in Premium and 376 in Economy, the F-HREY has a configuration identical to French Bee’s two other A350-900s.
Marc Rochet, President of French Bee, says: “I am convinced that fleet uniformity is the key to success for any airline operating as low-cost long-haul. At French Bee, we have decided to operate solely with the A350 – one of the most reliable and efficient aircrafts on the market today. Investing in a modern fleet is essential to accelerating our development in the long-term.” ** The A350, one of the most fuel-efficient aircrafts on the market today ** More than 70 percent of the A350 XWB is made from advanced materials combining titanium, next generation aluminium alloys and carbon fibre composites (53 percent), a lighter, stronger, and more resistant material.
The new generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, developed specifically for this aircraft, make it possible to achieve significant fuel savings and to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent. Particularly light thanks to the use of advanced materials and composites, the A350 XWB is equipped with wings, which change form over the course of the flight, like a bird, and revolutionary “winglets” (external extremity of the wing), which help to optimise the aerodynamics of the plane. Thanks to these innovations, the A350 XWB can considerably reduce its carbon footprint.
Muriel Assouline, Managing Director of French Bee, adds: The A350 is an ideal aircraft for our long-haul flights to San Francisco, Tahiti and Reunion Island. It allows us to make fuel savings which could reach up to 25 percent per seat, a major competitive advantage for French Bee at a time when prices are increasing.
French Bee will welcome a new aircraft from the A350 range every year. Next year, French Bee will add a fourth A350-900 to its fleet. Then in 2021 and 2022, the company will welcome two A350-1000s with 480 seats, allowing fuel savings of more than 9 percent per seat compared to the A350-900. By 2022, French Bee will therefore operate a fleet of 6 Airbus A350s.