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Was the A359ULR ever publicly offered to other airlines?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 1:02 pm
by filipinoavgeek
As we probably are all aware of by now, Singapore Airlines is the first and so far only operator of the A350-900ULR, and apparently it was developed specifically due to SQ's requirements. Now the question: did Airbus ever (publicly) offer the type to other airlines, or was a non-SQ customer not on the table from the start? I think I recall reading that PR/QF/EK were interested, but I can't seem to find any news reports that confirmed that this was the case. And in any case, it appeared that the A359ULR was ruled out for Project Sunrise pretty early on.

Re: Was the A359ULR ever publicly offered to other airlines?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 2:05 pm
by PR77W
Intresting I have been always under the impression that PR was looking for an Increased MTOW for the A359. But never considered they would be interested at the A359ULR.

Re: Was the A359ULR ever publicly offered to other airlines?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 2:09 pm
by filipinoavgeek
PR77W wrote:
Intresting I have been always under the impression that PR was looking for an Increased MTOW for the A359. But never considered they would be interested at the A359ULR.


I only saw the part about PR and the ULR on either Philippine Air Space or CAPA (can't remember which), and even then it was either PR or Airbus that said that the ULR wasn't needed for PR's needs. Ironically, news sites originally seemed to report that PR's A350s were of the ULR, which only further added to the confusion, although this was eventually corrected.

Re: Was the A359ULR ever publicly offered to other airlines?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 11:18 pm
by DocLightning
I can't imagine Airbus turning down any legitimate offer. It's hardly a good business practice to turn away potential customers. That said, the -ULR has some disadvantages (decreased total allowed payload). It's a minimal modification on the base A359 (some extra pumps and plumbing), so it's no extra trouble for Airbus to build one. The issue is that it's a pretty short list of airlines that have a good use for it. In addition to SQ, QF and perhaps NZ might be potential customers, but they haven't ordered A359s at all, and the ME3 might also be interested, but their geographic location means that they would only use it on a few routes (AKL, MEX, and maybe SCL if they don't want to go via EZE), and maybe SA might be interested. I really can't imagine any of the US3 or EU3 biting.

Re: Was the A359ULR ever publicly offered to other airlines?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 11:34 pm
by Channex757
DocLightning wrote:
I can't imagine Airbus turning down any legitimate offer. It's hardly a good business practice to turn away potential customers. That said, the -ULR has some disadvantages (decreased total allowed payload). It's a minimal modification on the base A359 (some extra pumps and plumbing), so it's no extra trouble for Airbus to build one. The issue is that it's a pretty short list of airlines that have a good use for it. In addition to SQ, QF and perhaps NZ might be potential customers, but they haven't ordered A359s at all, and the ME3 might also be interested, but their geographic location means that they would only use it on a few routes (AKL, MEX, and maybe SCL if they don't want to go via EZE), and maybe SA might be interested. I really can't imagine any of the US3 or EU3 biting.

Strikes me that Airbus could skip the A330NEO and instead offer a tanker version using the ULR plumbing for additional fuel. Do some work to ensure the boom isn't at tailstrike risk and a KC-350 could be a cheap option to make available.

Re: Was the A359ULR ever publicly offered to other airlines?

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 3:02 am
by 777Jet
filipinoavgeek wrote:
And in any case, it appeared that the A359ULR was ruled out for Project Sunrise pretty early on.


Does anybody know why? I believe that would be the perfect sized aircraft for such routes and could be used on other QF routes which QF want out of the sunrise aircraft. Not as big as the 35K / 77X but slightly longer and better cabin comfort than the 789 they currently use on the ULH PER-LHR route. Seemed like the logical choice to me if on offer.

Re: Was the A359ULR ever publicly offered to other airlines?

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 3:05 am
by Antarius
777Jet wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
And in any case, it appeared that the A359ULR was ruled out for Project Sunrise pretty early on.


Does anybody know why? I believe that would be the perfect sized aircraft for such routes and could be used on other QF routes which QF want out of the sunrise aircraft. Not as big as the 35K / 77X but slightly longer and better cabin comfort than the 789 they currently use on the ULH PER-LHR route. Seemed like the logical choice to me if on offer.


Cargo capacity maybe? Speculating.