Airbus Delivers First A350 To Qatar Airways

Today was a new milestone for the Airbus Group when they delivered the very first A350 aircraft to Qatar Airways in ceremony held in Toulouse.

Reuters Airbus A350 First Delivery

Airbus spend $15 billion over the past 10 years to develop the aircraft that is only couple of years late (new aircraft types are typically delayed by years).

There’s plenty of coverage of this launch. Here are my picks from Reuters (access here) and WSJ (access here).

Here’s an excerpt from Reuters:

European planemaker Airbus delivered its first A350 mid-sized jetliner to Qatar Airways on Monday and moved to end speculation about the future of its larger A380 superjumbo.

Airbus said it was on course to reach its production goals for the A350, a mid-sized jet designed to compete with the twin-engined Boeing 787 and 777 models.

Delivery of the A350 came 10 days later than originally planned after Qatar Airways had last-minute problems with one of the suppliers of “buyer furnished equipment” – items like seats and galleys that the airline buys directly from third parties.

Here’s and excerpt from WSJ:

“The performance of the A380 has exceeded our expectations,” Mr. Al Baker said at Tuesday’s ceremony at Airbus’s headquarters to mark the delivery of the Qatar Airways A350.

The vote of confidence from Mr. Al Baker in the A380 could help Airbus garner more sales for the four-engined passenger jet.

Most airlines have shown themselves much keener on twin-engine jetls like the A350, Airbus’s response to Boeing Co. BA +1.15% ’s new long-distance plane, the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing itself has long argued that there is too small a market for extra large passenger jets to warrant investment in the segment.

Qatar Airways will operate its A380s for a year before making a decision to take more than the 10 super jumbos already ordered, Mr. Al Baker said. The carrier began operating A380 jets this year and has three now in service.

Conclusion

Just flew the Qatar’s A380 the other week and really liked the business class bar. Did have a look at the first class seats as well (wasn’t very impressed), as the cabin was entirely empty.

Glad that the Airbus was able to come up with a competitor to Boeing’s 787. Let’s hope that there are no similar teething issues, as many of the airlines had their first Dreamliners (battery issues).

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