Airbus facing A350 delivery delay

Airbus (OTC: EADSY) has shifted delivery target of the first of its new A350-1000, the longest-fuselage version of Airbus’s all-new family of wide-body jetliners, to the second half of next year, due to problems with suppliers. It previously had announced the first delivery would be sent out in the middle of 2016.

A350-1000 is developed to compete with Boeing’s 777-300ER in the large wide-body market. Airbus introduced A350-1000 as an aircraft of high efficiency, maximum reliability and optimized performance. The aircraft can accommodate up to 440 passengers if it is configured for a high-density layout. Besides, with a range of 7,900 nautical miles, the aircraft is expected to bring a significant revenue-generating advantage for operators.

So far, Airbus has received 181 orders of A350-1000, according to its official orders & deliveries number as of May 2016. The first test flight, once planned for around the middle of this year, is not now due until after September since the first three test planes are still in the final assembly stage in Toulouse, France. Airbus has estimated before its normal output would reach 10 airplanes per month by 2018 if no supply interruptions.

The delay raised tension with Qatar Airways, the biggest customer for A350 with a 37 units order. Qatar Airways’ outspoken chief executive Akbar Al-Baker this month said “they have to deliver the airplane contractually in June to me.”

On Thursday, Airbus’ U.S. shares in the OTC market went down by 0.55% to $14.37. Its shares decreased by 2.28% to 50.49 euros in Paris, and fell by 1.12% to 51.13 euros in Frankfurt.

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