“You cannot expect to have no problems,” said Didier Evrard, Airbus EVP for programs, who run the A350 program until the end of 2014.
“But what is important is that you take immediate action once something comes up. We have innovated quite a bit in the way we work.”
Evrard believes the goal of 98.5% dispatch reliability can be reached within 1-2 years.
A large dedicated team inside Airbus is dealing with the A350 2 hours per day, and Didier Evrard has instructed the team to immediately escalate any serious and new issues to his management level to ensure things are properly addressed.
Airbus detected 3 areas that have needed particular attention in the A350 operation.
First, the system that has created the most logbook entries so far is the onboard network that hosts all MRO applications.
According to Marc Virilli (Senior Director - Customer Services at Airbus), some human-machine interface improvements as well as software updates were needed.
“We have issued an evolution of the system which has already been implemented on the Qatar and Vietnam Airlines fleets, and we are seeing a decrease in the number of reports,” he said.
The rerelease has eliminated a number of software bugs that also affected communications between the aircraft and the ground.
Second, Airbus was forced to issue a number of service bulletins and to remove some galley inserts, such as ovens or coffeemakers, because of leaks.
The leaks are related to a supplier that Airbus declines to identify.
But Virilli said that after corrective action was taken, the number of reports has come down 50%.
And third, the bleed system’s over heating detection has issued nuisance warnings that have caused some operational disruption.
Airbus retrofitted a sensor connection using gold-plated connectors, and the issue has been eliminated.
Marc Virilli said “a combination of several factors” was affecting Qatar’s operations; some have improved while others are still being addressed, but in general, the overall situation has stabilized.
Meanwhile, Finnair has experienced “the expected amount of small technical issues that can typically be addressed by resetting the system.” Rather than a clear pattern, there have been “isolated things here and there”. However, Finnair has noticed a slightly higher use of spare parts in the cabin.