Ethiopian Airlines was the fifth-largest operator of the Airbus A350 during 2021. Overall, 6,437 flights were planned with the Addis Ababa-based carrier’s A350’s from January to April 2021. To this day,Ethiopian Airlines has a sizeable fleet of the A350 jets.
According to schedule data, around 30 airlines have flown the Airbus A350 during 2021. These airlines have been making good use of Airbus’ newest clean-sheet design, despite the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which has particularly hit long-haul carriers. Though that’s just a handful of the airlines operating the Airbus A350, with other airlines also planning a fair amount of flights. Across all carriers, 140,372 flights were scheduled, though they may not all have operated.
However, despite the positives, 2021 has been a year of mixed headlines for the Airbus A350. Airbus used the jet to test the benefits of bird-like formation flying and on a blend of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel. However, the type has also led to a spat between Airbus and Qatar Airways heading to court.
Despite expressing their displeasure with the Airbus A350 in the strongest possible terms throughout 2021, Qatar Airways actually clocked in as the type’s largest user for the year, according to schedule data from aviation data experts Cirium.