Airbus to test A350 in Wellington this weekend

Airbus will be testing its A350-900 at Wellington Airport this weekend, gauging the performance of the aircraft on short runways.

The plane will travel to Wellington from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, via Manila.

Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport, is looking forward to seeing how the A350 performs in Wellington conditions.

"We are pleased to welcome one of the world's newest and most innovative aircraft to Wellington. The trial will show the maximum performance of our runway and what it can deliver for Airbus aircraft."

The aircraft can fly further than any other that currently departs Wellington. The airport's short runway usually restricts an aircraft's size or take-off weight but if the A350 test goes well, that could change.

The A350's iconic design includes state-of-the-art aerodynamics, and its made out of more than 50 percent light-weight carbon fibre reinforced polymer.

The tests will likely increase speculation that Air NZ is looking at the A350 as an option to replace their 777-200 fleet within the next few years. A spokesperson for the airline confirmed it is an option.

"The A350 is one aircraft in our consideration set, which includes models from both Boeing and Airbus."

Those keen to see the aircraft in action should keep their eyes to the sky on Sunday evening.