With its answer to the Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner now in service, Airbus says its newest plane, the A350, will be profitable by the end of the decade.
According to a report from Reuters, Airbus CEO says the company expects the A350 to become profitable in 2019, with it later become a prime source of profits for the manufacturer.
Airbus now has some 780 orders for the A350 on its books.
The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet airliners developed by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The A350 is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer. It can carry 250 to 350 passengers in a typical three-class seating layout, or maximum seating of 440 to 550 passengers, depending on variant. The A350 is positioned as a successor to the A330 and A340, competing with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and 777 series.
The A350 was originally conceived in 2004 with new aerodynamics and engines while having a fuselage based on the A330. This was rejected by some prospective customers. In 2006, Airbus redesigned the aircraft and renamed it the A350 XWB (extra wide body). The launch customer for the A350 is Qatar Airways, which ordered 80 aircraft of all three variants. Development costs are projected to be €12 billion (US$15 billion or £10 billion). As of December 2013, Airbus had received orders for 812 aircraft from 39 customers around the globe. The prototype A350 first flew on 14 June 2013 from Toulouse, France. The A350 received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency in September 2014 and certification from the FAA two months later. The first A350 was delivered to Qatar Airways in December 2014. The airliner is scheduled to enter commercial service in January 2015.