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Airbus delays A350, winds up A340 programs

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 14, 2011
An A350-900 in Cathay Pacific colours.

Airbus parent EADS has announced delivery of the composite-built A350-900 jetliner has been delayed by six months.

Delivery of the widebody jet is now slated to begin in the first half of 2014, with Airbus attributing the delays to late arriving parts.

“Maturity of the A350 XWB main components at final assembly start remains one of the group’s top priorities,” EADS said. “Start of final assembly is now scheduled for Q1 2012 and entry-into-service is now scheduled for H1 2014.”

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Airbus has a backlog of 373 orders for the A350-900 and 119 for the A350-800. The larger A350-1000, which has already been pushed back to 2017, has 75 orders.

The new delays will lead to a charge of 200 millions euros, EADS said. Despite the charge, EADS reported better than expected profits in the third quarter as demand for new aircraft from Asian and Middle Eastern airlines remained strong. Airbus, which accounts for two-thirds of EADS sales, had delivered 418 aircraft this year through the end of October.

Meanwhile EADS’s reporting of its nine month results also contained confirmation of the termination of the A340 program. Airbus has not taken any new orders for the four-engined A340 in the last two years, as the aircraft’s current A340-500 and A350-600 variants have been comprehensively outsold by Boeing’s competing 777-200LR and 777-300ER twinjets. No A340s have been delivered this year.

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