TOULOUSE, FRANCE — The European planemaker Airbus delivered the 500th aircraft from the Airbus A350 Family. The plane, which is a -900 variant, will join the long-haul fleet of Spanish carrier Iberia.

The IAG subsidiary operator is a major European customer for the type, with 20 A350s on order and 14 in service. The delivery of the 500th A350 jet sets a significant milestone for the European aircraft manufacturer endorsing the model's global success with its versatile variants, including the A350-900, the A350-1000, and A350F, the new game changer in the air cargo business.

As of the end of September, The A350s carried 225 million passengers on more than 900 routes since it entered into service in 2015 with the launch customer Qatar Airways. Airbus currently has 400 A350s on its backlog waiting to be delivered to customers from all continents.

"When we designed the A350 and delivered the first one, we were extremely proud to have created a real clean sheet, state-of-the-art aircraft, delivering unmatched performance and economics. It offers outstanding space, comfort, and quietness to the passengers, and it contributes significantly to decarbonizing aviation. The A350 is providing today a versatile platform to support our customers' strategy in front of a more and more complex environment," 

said Philippe Mhun, EVP Programs and Services at Airbus.

This 500th aircraft also introduces the new Production Standard 2022, which adds to the type more performance and cabin improvements for both A350-900 and A350-1000 variants. Compared to previous standards, it brings a weight reduction of up to 1.2 tonnes by optimizing systems and structures and increasing the use of advanced materials, which already represent more than 70% of the aircraft. The Maximum Takeoff Weight is also increased by 3 tonnes allowing each model to maintain its maximum range capability, beyond 8,000 NM, while carrying an increased payload. This increase in cabin space allows airlines the flexibility to offer more than 30 additional seats in a typical 3-class configuration.

To date, the A350 Family jets are operated by 39 airlines worldwide. After a dispute with Qatar Airways over quality issues, Airbus scrapped all orders from the Doha-based carrier last month.

Also read: Airbus revokes Qatar Airways' remaining A350-1000 orders