Airbus hopes to deliver at least 80 A350 jets in 2017, sources told Reuters Friday. The France-based company is expected to give more details on its delivery plans for 2017 in February.
The company will seek to push out no fewer than 7 of its latest long-haul jetliners a month in 2017, but the plan also depends on suppliers successfully curbing delays in cabin equipment. Airbus' more ambitious plan for 2018 involves raising output to 10 aircraft a month. Airbus declined to comment on the matter, the report said.
Airbus is struggling with delays in deliveries of its A350-900 jets due to a shortage in cabin equipment. Deliveries of its A320neo jets are also delayed due to a shortage of engines.
On Thursday, the Airbus A350-1000, Europe’s biggest twin-engine passenger aircraft, performed its maiden flight. It is larger than the A350-900, which entered service in 2015.
President and CEO of Airbus Fabrice Bregier said: “It makes me very happy and very proud. We are flying according to the timetable we had planned," he said moments after the jet, weighing 230 tonnes, took off under leaden skies to applause from factory workers.”
Officials said the new A350-1000 will be 25 percent cheaper to operate than its rival Boeing 777-300ER. In response to the A350-1000, Boeing developed a larger version of its 777 series that can accommodate over 400 people. The new version will be the largest twin-engine jetliner when it enters service in 2020.