US Airways sticks with A350-800

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US Airways maintains its support for the Airbus A350-800, despite the defection to its larger sibling the A350-900 by other airlines.

Thomas Weir, vice-president and treasurer of US Airways, says that the 270-seat A350-800 is suited for the airline's gateway hubs at Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix, at the Ascend Aviation 2020 Finance Forum in San Francisco on 28 November.

He adds that while some of US Airways' routes could support the about 315-seat A350-900 but the majority of its markets work best with the -800.

"Charlotte is not Atlanta in terms of flow or originating and departing traffic, [and] Philadelphia is not the same as New York City," says Weir.

Airbus has seen orders for the A350-800 dwindle as carriers switch to the -900. Qatar Airways was the latest to switch when it converted its 20 -800s to -900s, earlier in November.

Libya's Afriqiyah Airways also converted its order for six -800s to 10 -900s in November.

There are 92 firm orders for the A350-800, 380 for the -900 and 88 for the -1000, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database. This is down from 112 for the -800 before the Qatar defection.

Weir says that US Airways will continue to analyse the situation with the -800.