Airbus A350 launch delayed by six months

EADS, parent company of Airbus, announced today that it’s had to push the launch of its upcoming jetliner, the Airbus A350XWB, back by six months.

Originally scheduled for launch at some point during late 2013, the Airbus A350’s debut will now take place during the first half of 2014. EADS didn’t share specifics on why the A350 was seeing a delay, but CFO Hans Peter Ring said in a conference call that it was done to “ensure that the aircraft is mature and trouble-free when delivered.”

That, and EADS wanted to avoid revisiting the complications that came about with the rushed launch of the A380 super jumbo jet, Ring explained. “It’s not about simply meeting deadlines,” he told reporters. “We won’t move to the next phase without finishing the previous one.”

Designed to take on Boeing’s 787, the Airbus A350 is a long-range jetliner that aims to be lighter and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. It’s made of lightweight carbon composite materials, and the aerodynamics have been improved, which EADS claims will make the A350 25% more fuel efficient.

The launch of the Airbus A350 is still a ways off, but production on the jetliner is expected to begin at some point next year.

Source: USA Today

[Image credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip]