Qatar Airbus A350-900 XWB

First Airbus A350s to be delivered

Qatar Airbus A350-900 XWB

The first of the Airbus A350-900s, the aerospace company’s most advanced passenger jet to date, will be in the hands of Qatar Airways by Dec. 15 and ready to take flight.

Kinston’s Spirit AeroSystems facility manufactures the A350’s composite center fuselage and wing spars.

On Nov. 18, Dubai-based Gulf News reported Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker came out of a closed-door meeting with Airbus executives and told a gathering of reporters “everything is perfect” with the A350 and said the airline expected shipment of the first A350s Dec. 12-15.

Qatar Airways is slated as the first operator of the extra-widebody jets and has 80 on order.

The A350 is the direct competitor of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has a manufacturing facility in South Carolina.

According to the Wichita Business Journal, Airbus has about 150 people in Wichita — also the location of Spirit’s corporate headquarters — working on the project.

Each A350 is set to carry about 314 passengers, and Airbus has about 550 orders on hand.

The jet received its regulatory clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration on Nov. 12, leading to 50 orders from Delta Airlines on Thursday.

According to a Nov. 18 report by Reuters, “The plane’s successful test flight program, regulatory certification and impending first delivery have been well received by Airbus investors, helping shares rise more than 7 percent in the past month.”
The report also indicates Airbus plans to ramp up production of the craft to three a month by the end of the year, five per month by the end of 2015 and 10 a month by the middle of 2018.


Leave a Comment