Airbus is offering a higher maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) version of the A350-1000, adding significant range capabilities.

The aircraft is now on offer as a 316-ton MTOW version, eight tons more than what is currently the heaviest variant of the aircraft. Airbus said the change leads to a 450 nm increase in maximum range, meaning the A350-1000 is now capable of flying up to 8,400 nm, compared to the previous maximum of 7,950 nm. Alternatively, airlines can opt to carry 5.5 tons in additional payload.

According to Airbus, there are no structural or hardware changes to the aircraft. The increase has been made possible because some design margin was released and fuel capacity was increased.

Airbus did not disclose which airline is opting for the new version.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways is taking delivery of the second A350-1000 on June 18. The airline plans to introduce the aircraft on the Hong Kong-Washington Dulles route. Airbus delivered the first A350-1000 to Qatar Airways in February. The aircraft has had no in-service disruptions since then, according to Airbus.

There are currently 168 firm orders for the -1000, but an order for 16 placed by Iran Air is in question because the US has decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.

Jens Flottau, jens.flottau@aviationweek.com