[Avionics Today 12-22-2014] Airbus has delivered the first production A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways. The airline's first A350 XWB is scheduled to start operating on its Doha to Frankfurt route in January. Qatar placed its $16 billion order for 80 total A350s at the 2007 Paris Air Show.
Airbus delivers first A350 XWB to Qatar Airways. Photo: Airbus.
Delivery of the first A350 XWB comes following EASA certification on the aircraft in September and FAA approval in November
. Leading up to certification, Airbus embarked on an extensive flight testing campaign, using a fleet of five test aircraft to complete more than 2,600 flight test hours.
“In the seven years since we first placed our order for this new aircraft type at the Paris Air Show, investing in a partnership program with Airbus, there has been significant growth in the airline industry," said Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. "I am confident that this increase in passenger numbers around the world will only increase further in the years to come."
With the A350 delivery, Qatar Airways will become the first airline in the world to operate each member of the Airbus wide body aircraft family. The Middle Eastern carrier has a growing fleet of A380s and A330s as well.
The A350 XWB order book for Airbus currently stands at 778 orders from 41 customers worldwide.