Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier is confident that the OEM will achieve its goal to deliver around 15 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft this year. At the recent Finnair delivery, he said “If we reach this target, I think we have secured a strong foundation for the future ramp-up of A350 production. It is always extremely difficult to produce an aircraft that is just certified”.
To deliver “around 15” aircraft Airbus has work to do. The first A350 was delivered at the end of 2014. As of mid-October, Airbus delivered another six, which is seven deliveries in about 300 days. The 2015 target means it has to deliver another nine by December 31, which is 77 days away. So how good does that target look?
This is how it looks to us:
- We believe three A350s are at the delivery center. It looks like the number of days after first flight to delivery is a maximum (so far) of 49 this year, therefore –
- A7-ALE (Qatar) should have delivered August 7 – this aircraft seems behind schedule
- A7-ALF (Qatar) should deliver October 16 – this aircraft seems behind schedule
- VN-A888 (Vietnam) should deliver October 29
- We believe three aircraft are at Station 20 for interior installation. All OEMs have had trouble getting seats for deliveries, which might be the issue. We have no insight as to how long this process will take to complete.
- We estimate OH-LWB (Finnair) should have its first flight around November 19. We expect this aircraft gets delivered around or before December 28.
- We have no data on one Qatar (F-WZFP) aircraft other than its location is currently A09 (image dated October 14). The image below shows the location of outside sites for aircraft completion in Toulouse.
- The first TAM aircraft has been painted but had no engines installed when pictures were released September 16.
Airbus delivered the third ‘head-of-version’ (HOV) on time to Finnair and are scheduled to deliver the fourth HOV to TAM in December. Other non-HOV A350s (Qatar and Finnair) will be delivered as planned, so that by year end “around 15” are delivered.
The Singapore Airlines HOV aircraft has been rolled out of the paint shop in full SIA livery and is now due to have its engines installed. That aircraft is due for delivery in January.
I bet there’s a LOT of pressure being exerted by the management, who temporarily forget, at least somewhat, about the impact on quality.