MIAMI — The first Airbus A350 XWB will be delivered to launch customer Qatar Airways on Monday, December 22nd in Toulouse. This news comes after it was announced that the first A350 XWB delivery was delayed, but earlier this week, Didier Evrard, head of the manufacturer’s A350 program, was optimistic at an investor day forum in London as he explained that the first delivery was still expected delivery to occur before the end of 2014.
The Airbus A350 during a proving run flight. Image courtesy of Airbus
Evrard admitted that the manufacturer may have been a “little optimistic” with its plans to allow only 10 days between transferring the first A350 from the production line to the delivery center in Toulouse, France. He also said that the manufacturer has done some testing, and will do at least three more flights to ensure that Qatar Airways will be satisfied.
At the same event on December 11, Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders pointedly noted that “the aircraft is on the tarmac, ready to be delivered.” Evrard said three flight tests had been done and expected to “do two or three more” to ensure that Qatar Airways will be satisfied with its first A350.
The aircraft was originally scheduled to be handed over to Qatar Airways at a ceremony in Toulouse on December 13, with a larger media event in Doha on December 15. Airways is among the media outlets that will be at the event on December 22.