EADS announced today (Thursday in France, Wednesday night in Seattle) what many of us have been expecting for some time: the entry-into-service (EIS) of the A350-900 will slip into 2014 from late 2013.
“Maturity of the A350 XWB main components at Final Assembly start remains one of the Group’s top priorities. Start of Final Assembly is now scheduled for Q1 2012 and Entry-into-Service is now scheduled for H1 2014,” EADS said in its earnings release. As a result of the delay, EADS is taking a 200m Euro charge.
The program has had several creeping delays, slipping from an EIS of the first half of 2013 to the second half of the year, with very few deliveries listed in the Ascend data base–just five, starting with launch customer Qatar Airways.
We previously opined that we thought the first delivery would slip into the first half of 2014.
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. The delay of the A350-1000 greatly benefits Boeing as it decides what to do with the future of the 777, through minor or major enhancements, at a time when cash flow continues to be constrained by the 787 and 747-8 programs and development of the 737 MAX.
The news comes just in advance of the Dubai Air Show, where Boeing is expected to announce a number of 777 orders from Emirates Airlines and possibly other carriers. Assembly of the 1,000th 777–for Emirates–began November 9 in Everett (WA).
Airbus also terminated the A340 program, it was announced in the EADS earnings release.