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Finnair to fly domestic test flights for record-size Asian fleet

New Airbus A350 XWB aeroplanes intended for Asian air traffic are starting their test flights – between northern Finland and Helsinki. Finnair says the shorter domestic flights are intended to familiarise the crew with the planes' technical features.

Far Eastern flights will be tested domestically. Image: Finnair

National carrier Finnair expects its new order of Airbus A350 XWB aeroplanes to arrive in Finland in September. The planes are for long-distance flights, but shorter air traffic stints are in the works to help crew members get to grips with the new technology.

The first of these familiarisation flights will be conducted on October 5 on a Helsinki-Rovaniemi-Helsinki route and between Helsinki and Oulu. This will be followed by October flights to popular European cities, and between Helsinki and Shanghai starting October 25.

Before a pilot can work as a fully-fledged captain he or she must perform four one-way flights with an instructor.

The 19 new planes, to be delivered in full by 2023, represent Finnair's biggest fleet investment to date.

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