Airbus teams in the FAL and in the Flight Test Dept. are working hard to get the A350 XWB off the ground in time to scoop the headlines at next Paris air show.
A flight around the year’s biggest aviation expo, starting June 17, would let Airbus steal the limelight from Boeing, which aims to use the event to spur orders for an updated 777 and revitalize the 787 program hit by a months-long grounding.
“A first flight by Paris would bring a huge credibility boost for Airbus just as people are having doubts about Boeing’s execution,” according to Richard Aboulafia, vice president of U.S.-based Teal Group, who says the 787’s woes and slow progress with the 777 revamp give Airbus a “window of opportunity.”
Gilles Fournier, managing director for the Paris air show, told journalists last month he expects the A350 to fly by the start of the event, though there are no firm plans for a visit.
An A350 flight by mid-June could have a snowball effect for Airbus, building sales momentum for the A350-1000 variant due to begin deliveries in 2017, even as Boeing seeks to drum up orders for the competing 777X, according to Teal Group’s Aboulafia.
Based on the article “Airbus A350’s Paint Job Points to Paris-Show Blow for Boeing” published in Bloomberg