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Airbus to hold demo flight for new jet

MANILA, Philippines - An Airbus A350-900 XWB (extra wide body) jet is expected to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) today for a demonstration flight, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said yesterday.

The jet is expected to land just before noon today from Taiwan, with nine officials of the Bangkok Airline Operators Council and immigration officers on board.

There will be a demonstration flight in the afternoon for potential clients, Airbus said.

The new aircraft is made partially from lightweight carbon composite fibers that allow for larger windows and more comfortable pressurization and humidity levels, according to the firm’s website.

The jet consumes 2.9 liters of kerosene per passenger per 100 kilometers – roughly 25 percent less than current-generation aircraft.

It was originally conceived in 2004, pairing the A330’s fuselage with new aerodynamic features and engines in 2006.

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As of January, Airbus has received orders for 780 A350-900 XWB jets from 40 customers around the globe.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) recently said it is considering purchasing either Airbus A380 or Boeing B787 aircraft to replace its aging A340 fleet.

PAL currently has both Airbus and Boeing wide-body long-haul aircraft in service. It has 15 A330s, and six 777s, which is used in its Europe, Middle East and United States routes.

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