According to Fernando Alonso - senior vice-president flight and integration tests-, Airbus had built in some contingencies into the schedule in case some significant difficulties would be discovered, but there weren’t any.
Because he expects a larger number of requests for late modifications, he has “no hope” however, that the certification and test program could be accelerated.
On the other hand, Alonso is very confident that entry into service will not be delayed. “We have taken a lot of risk out of the program,” he says.
2 more test aircraft, MSN2 -the first full cabin installed- and MSN4 are going to fly before the end of February and MSN5 is planned to fly in May.
All the configurations of the aircraft – flaps and slats settings for various flight phases amongst others – are now defined and frozen. Certification testing involving airworthiness authorities has begun.
Based on the article “A350 Test Progress Exceeds Expectations” published in AviationWeek