“A couple of minor issues to be fixed quickly with some more tests and flights than planned. 2 or 3 additional flights will be needed”. This is the official answer from Airbus.
Head of Program Didier Evrard has a “high level of confidence” that Airbus will be able to deliver the first A350-900 to before the end of the year.
Evrard said at the company’s global investor forum he had been “perhaps a little too optimistic” when the delivery ceremony for Qatar Airways was scheduled for 13/December. The event was cancelled 3 days away from the planned event with no reasons given.
According to Evrard, the aircraft was handed over from production to the delivery center on 3/Dec and usually 10 days are sufficient to finalize the handover to a customer. However, “a couple of minor issues” have been detected over the past few days that required “some more tests and flights than planned.”
Evrard said Airbus had already carried out 3 extra acceptance flights and still had 2 or 3 more to do “to ensure everything had been properly tested and that Qatar Airways is satisfied with the aircraft. We can understand that they are very careful.” He also pointed out that the carrier is “a very demanding customer.”
The first aircraft for Qatar Airways flew for the first time in mid-October and received certification for a special configuration and Category IIIb autoland capability only last week.
Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier stated earlier that he, too, is “pretty optimistic” Airbus can meet its target of handing over the first A350 in 2014.
The first A350-900 could leave Toulouse as early as Sunday or Monday based on the article “Le premier A350 de Qatar Airways devrait être livré rapidement” published in Les Echos.
"We will take delivery of our aircraft imminently" said Akbar Al-Baker to journalists in Doha, speaking only of a "small problem" to solve by Airbus. On the side of Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier and Director of the program, Didier Evrard, were also rather optimistic. If everything goes well, the first A350-900 could therefore leave Toulouse as early as Sunday or Monday.
Based on the article “Airbus Still Plans To Deliver First A350 To Qatar Airways In 2014” published in Aviation Week and based on the article “Le premier A350 de Qatar Airways devrait être livré rapidement” published in Les Echos.