Airbus has pushed back the introduction date of two models of its A350. As we previously discussed, the delay in the -1000 will be to enable Rolls Royce to develop a higher thrust engine that will longer range to better compete with the Boeing 777LR. The delay in the -800 will enable Airbus to concentrate engineering resources on the baseline -900 model and ensure that there are no further delays by concentrating engineering resources.

The base A350-900 will be introduced on time, in late 2013, followed by the -800, which has been pushed back to 2016 from 2014, and the -1000, pushed back to 2017 from 2015.

So what does this mean? First, that the A350-1000 needed a boost in range to more effectively compete with the 777, and second, that with the slack all but gone in the A350-900 schedule, Airbus has decided that it is more important to bring the first model out on time than to have another series of rolling delays like A380 and 787 have experienced. By concentrating resources, they stand a better chance of success.

The good news – Airbus is facing the issues head on and making an all-out effort not to repeat mistakes of the past. The bad news – we will have to wait a couple more years for other variants of the A350.

With so many forecasting delays for A350, Airbus has stepped up to the plate. Now it must deliver on its promises.

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