The story appears on

Page A9

November 25, 2016

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Business » Transport

Airbus A350-1000 makes maiden flight

EUROPE’S largest twin-engined passenger jet, the Airbus A350-1000, took to the skies for the first time yesterday, seeking to grab the spotlight from Boeing’s popular 777.

The lightweight carbon-fiber plane, whose catalog price is US$356 million, is 7 meters longer and able to carry 40 more people than A350s already in service.

The 366-seat A350-1000 is designed to break Boeing’s virtual monopoly in the lucrative “mini-jumbo” segment, typically involving large twin-engined jets carrying 350 people.

It is a larger cousin to the new-generation A350-900, which entered service last year. Both are built from similar advanced materials to Boeing’s mid-sized 787 Dreamliner in a race between planemakers for fuel savings and better passenger comfort.

The aircraft involved in yesterday’s Toulouse debut is one of three test planes facing 1,600 hours of intensive flight testing before the A350-1000 enters service in the second half of 2017.

Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of the planemaking division of Airbus Group, said he was confident the A350-1000 would be delivered on time to launch customer Qatar Airways.

“It makes me very happy and very proud. We are flying according to the timetable we had planned,” he said moments after the jet, weighing 230 tons, took off under leaden skies to applause from factory workers.

While the first flight of its latest model took place on time, Airbus is grappling with delivery delays to the earlier A350-900, clusters of which remain dotted around the airport in Toulouse due to shortages of cabin equipment.

Smaller A320neo jets are also parked with missing engines, due to delays in supplies from Pratt & Whitney, highlighting the strain on the industry of adding new technology while securing record production targets.

Airbus says the A350-1000 will be 25 percent cheaper to operate than the Boeing 777-300ER, an older aircraft which weighs more but which has more seats in some layouts.

Boeing has responded to the A350-1000 by developing an even larger version of 777 able to seat over 400 people.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend