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Airbus A350XWB Delay Rumours Gather Pace

Are we about to witness the 787 delays debacle all over again?
Airbus, COMMENT, Business Trends

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Based on previous intelligence and the general slow pace of movement on the program, coupled with margins being consumed, the A350XWB appears more likely than not to be delayed.

This French source surmises a delay of anywhere between 12-18 months based on industry sources, claiming that even a 2013 year-end delivery would still be “a great achievement.”

The industry has almost come to expect delays as par for the course – how bad an A350XWB delay would or could be is paced by the time the program is set back by. For the moment, Airbus dismisses the allegations of delays on the program as it deals with another headache related to the funding of the airplane in the wake of the final WTO ruling issued late last month.

Looking back at the last (and current) victim of commercial delays, the 787, is what we’ve seen on that program indicative of what we’ll see on the A350XWB?

Denial and then delay?

Almost certainly. But this is one program Airbus can ill afford to have slide since the financial pressure on parent EADS is already a bug bear with the financial failures in the A400M and A380.

This column was written by FBE Aerospace analyst Saj Ahmad, the views expressed are his own.

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