Airbus A350 First Flight, First Air Show. Bad news for Boeing?

Airbus’s new twin, the A350 XWB, flew over the Paris Air Show on Friday 21 June on only its third test flight. It follows the type’s maiden flight on 14 June.

The A350 XWB is an all-new mid-size long range product line featuring three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.

The new Airbus competes with the Boeing 777 and the new, troubled 787 Dreamliner and has already notched up orders, including 69 at the show itself worth $21.4 billion at list price from Air France-KLM , Singapore Airlines , United Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.

John Leahy, Airbus’s Chief Operating Officer, Customers commented at the show that, “Our A350 XWB has been out-selling the 787 by better than 2- to-1 over the last five years.”

Boeing has been in this fight longer and so has notched up an impressive 930 orders with 57 deliveries to date compared with Airbus’s 678 orders.

After Boeing’s battle with delays and battery problems on the 787, Airbus’s dramatic test flight at Le Bourget is a physical manifestation of Leahy’s confidence in the aircraft. But as Boeing has learned, the road from first flight to certification and customer deliveries is not always straight, smooth or fast.

 

Source:  Matthew Stibbe – Forbes

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