By Douglas Royce, Forecast International
TOULOUSE, France – The Airbus A350-900 received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on September 30. The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification will follow shortly.
The Airbus fleet of five test aircraft accumulated more than 2,600 flight test hours during its test program. Airbus plans to deliver its first A350 to Qatar Airways before the end of the year.
The A350-900 is the lead variant in the A350 XWB series and the most popular of the three A350 variants. As of the end of August 2014, Airbus had accumulated a total of 750 orders for the A350 XWB series, including 34 orders for the A350-800, 547 for the A350-900, and 169 for the A350-1000.
Service entry of the A350-1000 is scheduled for mid-2017. Development of the A350-800 is forecast to be suspended due to a lack of interest from airlines (credit butt). The re-engined A330-800neo will serve as a replacement for the A350-800 in the Airbus product line, and Airbus expects the remaining A350-800 customers to eventually convert to the A330-800neo or A350-900.
Airbus intends to produce about three A350s per month by early 2015, and 10 per month by 2018. Beyond 2018, the company is considering production of as many as 13 or 14 A350s per month.