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  • Airbus Delays A350, Ends A340
    Posted by Robert Wall 7:39 AM on Nov 10, 2011

    You might file this under: It was just a matter of time. Well, in this case the time has come. Airbus has finally officially recognized what the industry has been saying for well over a year: the A350XWB entry into service will slip again.

    The new date is for the twin-widebody to enter service in the first half of 2014, the company says in its third quarter results.

    The company also is formally terminating the A340 program. No surprise, either, since the aircraft had stopped selling for some time. For Airbus, the A340-500/600 will not be part of its history it will look on happily, given it secured merely 133 orders -- deliveries, through the end of October stood at 128 units. It can thank the Boeing 777 for that performance.

    But the A350 schedule development is more important. Final assembly of the first aircraft is now not due to start until early 2012; it was due this year -- still unconfirmed this morning is whether first flight will slip into 2013, but that is likely.

    The program adjustment comes with a 200 million euro charge Airbus-parent EADS is now booking.

    While a delay is never good news, if Airbus can make this schedule, it will look back at today's announcement as a minor blip on this important development program. Of course, that is a big if given the its own track record on the A380 and Boeing's experience on the 787.

    The Dubai air show starting Sunday may show what confidence customer have in the new schedule. Stay tuned...

    Tags: tw99, Airbus, A350, DXB11, dubai11

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