Airbus delivers 100th A350

Airbus has celebrated the delivery of the 100th A350 XWB, with the milestone aircraft, an A350-900 for Taiwan’s China Airlines, handed over in a ceremony at Toulouse on Wednesday.

The first customer A350 delivery was to Qatar Airways in December 2014, and despite early delays in ramping up production and delivery rates largely attributed to issues with cabin equipment and seat suppliers, Airbus says the A350 program has experienced the fastest production ramp-up of any of its widebody airliners.

“The 100th A350 XWB milestone comes as we reach our fastest widebody production ramp-up, on track to meet the target of 10 A350 deliveries per month by the end of 2018,” Fabrice Bregier, Airbus COO and president commercial aircraft, said in a statement.

Airbus says its holds firm orders for 847 A350s from 45 customers, with 14 airlines having taken delivery of A350-900s to date.

The larger A350-1000 is nearing the end of its flight test campaign with certification and first customer delivery planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

No Australasian airline has yet ordered the A350, although the widebody twin is an increasingly common sight at local airports thanks to services operated by Qatar Airways (Adelaide), Singapore Airlines (Melbourne) and Cathay Pacific (Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane).

Comments

  1. David says

    So far there haven’t been any orders from an Australian Airline, yet there are over 800 firm orders. Can’t wait to see Qantas place some as a firm order . Maybe they could replace some 747’s that require bigger aircraft than a 787, say on routes to HKG.

  2. Patrick Kilby says

    David the A380 is slated for Hong Kong. They may take the A350ULR for New York or London ex Sydney later on maybe 2022 when they retire in their last 744s

  3. Lechuga says

    I get the feeling will grab the 350-900 & -1000 over the 777x. They didn’t choose the 777 before and I think they’ll go against it again. Would look good with the Kanga on it.

  4. A says

    I think that if Qantas were to get A350s, they would only buy them when the A380s are retired. Is it just me or are they starting to reintroduce 744s from SYD and MEL to LAX more than the A380 in recent times.

  5. Mick says

    Yeah you’re right A. Qantas have just signed to keep the 744’s for another 5 years..

  6. Geoff says

    The new A350 XWB is the best option for a true nine abreast comfort cabin (economy) serving newer point to point routes. These exquisite aircraft are a passenger delight and an airline CEO’s best friend. Excellent sfc figures.

    MEL-DFW, SYD-ORD, and many other long-haul routes are ideal examples. Inaudible almost and fuel efficient with very high despatch reliability,, they quietly execute their required missions. More ULR orders and -1000 versions are pending.

    Watch the Dubai airshow in November.

    Well done Airbus on this milestone. You have your supplier issues behind you hopefully as you ramp up production and satisfy more airlines and their customers.

  7. Paul ST says

    If QF are intending to keep the 744s a little longer than planned, the next question must be, will they refurbish them? The skybed mk2 in J suffers against the competition now so I can’t imagine how bad it’ll look in 5 years time!
    I also wonder if the extension of the 744’s life is to hold the fleet over until the 777X is launched?

  8. Roger says

    I really can’t see why they use those 744s. Too loud, too old, too large for most routes. In non-peak periods, are they able to fill the flights to places such as Santiago, Johannessburg, San Fran or even LAX? Remember that quite often in–say–mid-November, you have a 744 on the SYD-LAX route. Five daily departures out of Sydney. How many people would really choose a 15-year-old 744 or a 3-year-old 789 with UA, especially for economy? Same for Santiago. Brand-new 787s with LA or the oldest 744 with QF.

  9. Craigy says

    There is a lot of speculation here about the fleet plans for Qantas despite what is on the public record.

    Firstly re the B744. 2 B744 will be retired when the first B789 are received. This will reduce the fleet to 9. When the remaining 4 are received, another 3 will be retired. This will leave the 6 B744ER in the fleet.

    Secondly re the A380. Qantas use the A380 to HK when needed. In the last 3 weeks, QF127/128 has been serviced by an A380 instead of the normal B744.

    Thirdly, re the A380 again. Qantas have said that the A380 has a continuing role in the Qantas fleet for years to come.

    Fourthly, Re the B777. In interviews with Geoff Dixon over the years, he said that after extensive modelling, they could not make a business case for the purchase of the B777. With the respect to the next generation, Qantas has said they are in discussions with Airbus and Boeing re the A350 and the B77x. Plan is for non-stop destinations such as Syd – JFK, Syd – ORD, Mel – LHR, Syd – LHR, Bne – LHR. Qantas has four slots into Heathrow which are currently leased to BA.

    Fifthly, the remaining 4 B789 will be used for new routes.

    @ Roger QF11 is normally an A380 not a B744. What stats do you have to support your claim that quite often in Nov the A380 is replaced by a B744

    B744 are used on the SYD-JOH route because of ETOPS. Also, the Santiago services are routed further south then the LAN B789 services

    @ Mick, which B744s have Qantas signed for another 5 years?

  10. says

    The A350 is a great aircraft, both owner wise and pax wise. QF should really take a good long hard look at the ULR model, think it would fit perfectly for their aspirations for new long haul routes they dream of. In my opinion the A350 is way better than the 787 in both economics and pax appeal.