Leaving early on Saturday morning, we headed first to Doha, Qatar. Scenically, this was the best trip: we flew over Sardinia and Corsica, where we saw plumes of smoke coming from Mt. Etna:
Then we passed over the Nile River and the Egyptian desert:
After a few hours in Doha, we made an 11-hour flight – mostly over the Indian Ocean – to Perth, Australia.
There, we spent just 7-8 hours on the ground.
Then we made the 11-hour flight back to Doha. We arrived a little after 5 am and were treated to a sunrise on one side and a setting full moon on the other.
Catching four-five hours of sleep at a hotel, we headed back to the airport for a 5-1/2 flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport where despite it being 10:30 pm (22h30), we were greeted by hundreds of people lining the runway and taxiway for photos.
Returning to the airport the following morning, there were again hundreds of people – from the media, airlines, airport and more – who took the opportunity to visit the aircraft. Besides the A350, the next most photographed subject was the group of six Aeroflot flight attendants:
Then we were off to Helsinki, Finland (after flying past Helsinki to accumulate more flight hours and continuing to Norway before turning around). Here, we got splashed and then received the red carpet treatment:
Then it was back to Toulouse, albeit via the long way (i.e., going west to the UK before heading into France at Le Havre) where the flight test department turned out in force to welcome everyone back home.
It was a very comfortable series of flights: the aircraft is incredibly quiet, rides super smooth, and the lie-flat seats are great for sleeping.
But I really don’t need to get on another aircraft anytime soon.
To see more photos, just click on the Route Proving Pix link.