The first BelugaXL took off this morning from Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10:30h local time for its maiden flight over south-western France.
The aircraft is the first of five BelugaXL to enter into service later in 2019 and will gradually replace the current BelugaST transporters.
The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019.
The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment.
A fleet of five BelugaXLs will be used to transport completed sections of Airbus aircraft among the company’s European production sites and to its final assembly lines in Europe.