Airbus to delay A350 by as much as six months

Airbus handed the Boeing Co. a dabble of good news Thursday: The European jet maker is delaying its A350 by as much as six months.

“Each delay of the A350 program and the individual models allows Boeing to recover some breathing room on the 787 program and to develop the 787-9,” local analyst Scott Hamilton, with Leeham Co., wrote in a brief about the delay.

Airbus’ parent company, EADS, announced the schedule slide in its third quarter earnings report. The company took a $273 million charge in the third quarter for the A350 delay.

Airbus likely won’t hand over its first A350 Extra Wide Body jet until 2014, about six months later than previously expected. Like Boeing’s 787, Airbus’ A350 is a mostly composite aircraft. The use of new technology and materials, as well as its dependence on a global supply chain, forced Boeing to delay its 787 by more than three years. Boeing delivered the first Dreamliner jet in September.

The A350 delay will help “to ensure that the aircraft is mature and trouble-free when delivered,” Hans Peter Ring, Airbus’ chief financial officer, said in a conference call with reporters. Airbus also faced challenges with its last all-new aircraft, the A380 super jumbo jet, which was more than two years late.

Ring blamed the A350s delay on a shortage of some parts as well as delays in delivery of some of the aircraft’s composite parts. Airbus will start final assembly of its A350 XWB in the first quarter of 2012. After the aircraft is built, it will enter flight testing and then is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2014.

“It is our top priority to reach the highest levels of part-readiness before aircraft sections enter our final assembly line in Toulouse,” Didier Evrard, head of the A350 XWB program, said in a statement about the delay. “In this context, the maturity of components will be further enhanced to ensure smooth ramp-up capability.”

Airbus says its A350 XWB will burn 25 percent less fuel than similarly sized aircraft. The jet will challenge Boeing’s 777 as well some versions of the 787.

“The delay of the A350-1000 greatly benefits Boeing as it decides what to do with the future of the 777,” analyst Hamilton noted.

While demand for Boeing’s 777 has remained strong, requests for Airbus’ existing challenger to the 777, the A340, have lagged. EADS announced Thursday that Airbus will no longer build its A340 aircraft.

Airbus hasn’t received an order on the A340 in the past two years and has received just 379 orders over the life of the A340 program. The A340 operates on four engines, compared to the twin-engine 777, which has won 1,295 orders.

EADS expects its revenue to increase by more than 4 percent this year compared to 2010. It also forecast around 1,500 gross orders for Airbus this year. Airbus had 1,231 net orders and 1,372 gross orders at the end of October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

MyMyToyStore.com owner Tom Harrison at his brick and mortar storefront on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Near-death experience planted seeds for downtown Everett toy store

Former attorney Tom Harrison survived 9/11. It caused him to ask what’s important in life. Today, he runs MyMyToyStore.

Sean Jones, membership executive of Everett's Freedom Boat Club, helps club member Carolyn Duncan load equipment onto her boat before she and a friend head out crabbing onThursday, Aug. 11, 2022, at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New Everett franchise offers boats at Everett Marina

Freedom Boat Club’s newest Washington location is in Everett, with six boats available to its members.

Devin Ryan, left to right, talks with Donald Whitley and Drew Yager before a test ride at Bicycle Centres Wednesday in Everett, Washington on August 24, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
New hands take the handlebars for Bicycle Centres

Longtime employees Devin Ryan, Aron Chaudiere and Ryan Brown bought the business that’s been around since 1976.

A truck drives past a sign displaying fuel prices on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Diesel prices stay high for truckers, farmers

Gas prices have fallen steadily this summer, but diesel costs have started to climb again.

FILE - Test engineer Jacob Wilcox pulls his arm out of a glove box used for processing sodium at TerraPower, a company developing and building small nuclear reactors, Jan. 13, 2022, in Everett, Wash. A major economic bill headed to the president has “game-changing” incentives for the nuclear energy industry, experts say, and those tax credits are even more substantial if a facility is sited in a community where a coal plant is closing. Bill Gates' company, TerraPower, plans to build an advanced, nontraditional nuclear reactor and employ workers from a local coal-fired power plant scheduled to close soon. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Everett nuclear research facility gets $750 million infusion

Bellevue’s TerraPower, which operates an Everett facility, got a hefty investment to fund research.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Business briefs: Leadership Snohomish County names new executive director

Plus a new short-term, career programs at Edmonds College, state grants for small businesses and more.

Tim Leonard, owner of the Machine Shop, is closing the arcade this fall. (Photo by David Welton)
Arcade owner to pull plug on beloved Whidbey Island business

Tim Leonard, owner of the Machine Shop in Langley, recently decided he’ll call it quits this fall.

Jennifer Sadinsky is the owner of Grayhorse Mercantile, one of Langley’s newest stores. (David Welton)
Shopkeeper brings taste of Europe to Whidbey Island

A first-time business owner’s dream of opening a cheese shop became a reality this year.

Toggle’s Bottle Shop is closed permanently on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Citing landlord dispute, Toggle’s closes in downtown Everett

The popular taproom shuttered Sunday. “Everett needs a cooperative landlord-tenant relationship in the commercial district,” a co-owner said.

The Think Tank Cowork building located in Everett's historic downtown district has been beautifully preserved and updated.
Bridge the work and work-from-home divide with Coworking

Shared workspace in Downtown Everett offers the amenities you want + flexible packages

Rick Winter (left) and Gary Yang, the founders of the former UniEnergy Technologies, stand with one their latest batteries, the Reflex, August 10, 2022. (Dan DeLong/InvestigateWest)
‘Chaotic mess’: Clean energy promises imploded at Mukilteo battery maker

UniEnergy Technologies absorbed millions in public funds, then suddenly went dark. The company is accused of providing tech to China.

Eviation's all-electric plane in flight Tuesday morning in Moses Lake, Washington, on Sept. 27, 2022. (Eviation)
Arlington’s all-electric plane, Alice, takes first test flight

Eviation Aircraft’s battery-powered plane logs successful first flight from Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake.