Cathay Pacific's A350 touches down in Auckland

The A350 touching down at Auckland International Airport (Newshub.)
The A350 touching down at Auckland International Airport (Newshub.)

A commercial aircraft that pilots are comparing to a Formula 1 race car touched down at Auckland airport for the first time this afternoon.

Cathay Pacific's new airbus A350 was flown into the southern hemisphere for the first time in its 11 hour journey from Hong Kong.

The airline has been operating five of the $400 million aircraft in other parts of the world, but this is its first trip here.

Cathay Pacific Director Dane Cheng says it was a special moment.

"We've been around in this market for 33 years and we are really looking forward to servicing this market continuously with this brand new aircraft."

The A350 will now operate daily from here in Hong Kong to Auckland, replacing the A340s which have been servicing the route for the last 18 years.

The A350 is also 25 percent more fuel efficient than other aircraft in the fleet.

It has on-board wifi for passengers, seats designed by Porsche and more fresh air can be pumped into the cabin.

"It means the passenger will feel more comfortable it helps reduce that feeling of fatigue for long haul passenger and help them adapt with the jet lag a lot better," says Richard Xing, Cathay Pacific Lead Technical Services Engineer.

Pilots have been training on a flight simulator at Cathay's Hong Kong base.

Deputy Chief Pilot Evan Summerfield has been flying for 21 years and he is very excited about the new plane.

"It's the most advanced it's got composite carbon fibre it is just like an F1 sports car."

But the plane is just a little bit faster if you're travelling to Hong Kong.


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