04 January 2014
A350 XWB Family orders status.
Airbus currently holds 814 firm orders for the A350, the bulk of which (549) are for the baseline A350-900. Meanwhile, Airbus is shifting engineering resources to the stretched A350-1000, due to enter service in 2017. There are 186 firm orders for the -1000, which has seen a notable pick-up in demand. Airbus has pushed back entry into service of the -1000 by almost two years to allow more time for Rolls-Royce to upgrade the engines as demanded by key customers, mainly Persian Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.
The future of the smallest version, the A350-800, appears to still hang in the balance. Airbus is officially committed to building the aircraft—the backlog has shrunk to 79 units—but the manufacturer is now hearing from customers that it should seriously consider stretching it to counter the threat posed by the newly launched Boeing 777X. While Airbus is unlikely to make a formal decision next year, 2014 will be a crucial time to prepare for that step.
Based on the article “Certification Nears For Three Airframers’ Programs” published in Aviation Week