04 March 2016

Airbus is in active discussions with various Chinese airlines regarding the A350 because Airbus is confident that it is the right aircraft for Chinese airlines to operate to Europe and North America.

Source: Airbus

Air China is Airbus’ only A350 Chinese customer, with an order for 10 A350-900s.

But the lack of early available delivery slots for the A350 is a major challenge for Airbus as it pitches the type to Chinese customers.

Source: A380_TLS_A350

“Our industrial constraint is that you need to place the order well in advance to ensure delivery at a given period… so with 800 A350s being ordered, of course it’s a mathematical exercise,” said Airbus China president and chief executive Eric Chen.

Source: Airbus

The problem in particular for Chinese customers, is that they plan their fleet requirements in 5-year periods, and are cautious when it comes to ordering aircraft beyond that timeframe. The next five year period covers 2016 to 2020.

Source: Airbus

“We’re trying to satisfy our customers, but yes I have slot issues,” says Chen.

“The key for us is industrial ramp up to produce enough production required by the market. That for me is a real challenge.”

Based on the article “A350 slot constraints pose challenge for Airbus in China” published in FlightGlobal.


  1. "The problem in particular for Chinese customers, is that they plan their fleet requirements in 5-year periods, and are cautious when it comes to ordering aircraft beyond that timeframe"

    Why does this sentence have commas in it?

  2. It is also a problem when the backlog of planes doesn't shrink. Potential customers don't care whether the bottleneck is with seats, engines or wings. If I am #800 line Airbus is barely delivering #17, they are still 783 behind. C'mon, Airbus! It's time to start delivering!

  3. Well two aircraft delivered in 10 days is ok so long as it continues at that rate, i.e two every ten days continuously and then maybe we have a beginning of a ramp up. After all this time, Airbus should really be belting them out, to show their customers that some of their aircraft will be delivered before the next decade and to show the Chinese that there is a reduction in the back log.So that in their next five year plan,they too may buy some A350's. Why are Airbus blocking the FAL with Zodiac delays? Why not take them out of their delivery slots so that the Airlines can chase Zodiac? and get on delivering A350's that are not constrained by zodiac,at least that way productivity would increase-then backlog would start to reduce. Mr. Leahy has been screaming for more A350's for months now and he should know, he's is at least trying to sell them-bit difficult when there not coming out of Toulouse fast enough.Then theres the A350-1000, will that have delivery dates before the 777x starts its deliveries?-the lack of orders for the A350-1000 is I am sure, in part, because of the slow and frustrating delivery of the A350/900. Its no good having a really good product to show everyone,if you cant produce it.I have the feeling that if Boeing had not such a huge backlog,then they would be taking orders away from the A350/900/1000. Not because they are better but because they break their necks to deliver and customers can see that and it goes a long way. Lets hope, that Airbus can show some spirit and get a move on.

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