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Friday, January 24, 2014

Airbus to Make First A350 Display in Singapore

Woodrow Bellamy III 

[Aviation Today January 24, 2014] Airbus will showcase its new wide-body aircraft, the A350 XWB at the Singapore Airshow next month as the French airframe manufacturer looks to boost orders from Asian carriers. 

A350 XWB. Photo, courtesy of Airbus.

The A350 will be featured in a static display and will also take part in the flying display on both days of the show. Airbus has confirmed the aircraft is still on schedule for an entry into commercial service with Qatar Airways for the fourth quarter of this year. 

Fabrice Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus, calls the Asia-Pacific region the "fastest growing market for the air transport industry," and believes carriers there will "drive future demand for wide body aircraft in all seat categories."

Selecting the Singapore Airshow to make the first display of the A350 also indicates that flight-testing has progressed enough for the company to showcase it before aviation industry stakeholders for a few days. The second flight-test aircraft, MSN3, is reportedly heading to Canada to undergo cold-weather testing in temperatures that are currently 22 below zero. Flight test aircraft MSN 003 will be featured in Singapore.

Within its 2013 global market forecast Airbus said the Asia Pacific region will require the majority of new single aisle, twin aisle and very large aircraft. The region is also projected to over take Europe and North America for the lead in world air passenger traffic, more than doubling from today's 2.9 billion to 6.7 billion over the next two decades. 

Asian carriers have ordered a combined 244 A350s. The region accounts for nearly 30 percent of the aircraft's total sales. In October, Airbus was able to penetrate a key market dominated by Boeing with an order for up to 56 A350s from Japan Air. To date, a total of 812 A350s have been ordered by 39 airlines worldwide.

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