Airbus’ A350XWB remains on track for its first flight next summer as the firm has announced it has opened the final assembly line for its new aircraft, reports

Airbus a350xwb
© AIRBUS S.A.S. 2012 – photo by eˣm company / H. GOUSSÉ

In an effort to reassure customers and suppliers, Airbus’ COO Guenther Nutschek has exclaimed the firm’s program is ‘on plan’ and that other major milestones will also be met.

Suppliers had been worrying about the weight improvements and other changes to the aircraft, which could represent extra work and some ‘performance shortfalls for early models’. In addition, some recent wing drilling troubles have led to some delays in later aircraft.

However, Airbus sought to allay concerns through stating that introducing the aircraft in batches ‘was a normal process’.

Officials claim there will be a third A350 in assembly by the end of the year with a view to producing 10 jets per month by late 2018. Overall, customers should be seeing the Airbus A350XWB on flight progress maps for the first time in summer 2013.

Fabrice Bregier, Airbus CEO, commented on the aircraft to “Innovation is deeply rooted in our DNA and this is fully demonstrated on the A350 XWB, the world’s newest, most advanced airline.

“Today we honour Roger Beteille, an exceptional aviation pioneer and we name the A350 XWB Final Assembly Line after him, one of our industry’s greatest innovators.”

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