Airbus sequence shift of A350s coming, reports customer. Airbus says ‘no’

Airbus will likely shift the sequence of the entry-into-service of the A350, a customer tells us. Other sources report the same, with another customer calling the prospect of a shift “inevitable.”

A tantalizing clue may have come from Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier. In Airbus’ own video of Bregier talking about his first ride on the A350, he remarks at 3:10 into the video that the next effort is for “the development of the next member of the family, the -1000.” The subtitles alter this to the next “challenge,” but Bregier’s words can clearly be heard. The Youtube post is below, which is the same as the video on the Airbus website.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6yX-1ESX88&w=420&h=315]

Right now, only one A350-800 is scheduled for delivery in September 2016 (to lessor ILFC), according to one data base, with several more following in 2017–when the more popular A350-1000 is scheduled to enter service.

But Airbus’ media relations department says no re-sequence has been made.

“No change in sequence A350-900 EIS H2 2014, A350-800 EIS mid-2016 and A350-1000 mid-2017,” says a spokesperson.

“The video you refer to was intended first and foremost for internal audiences, and Fabrice was referring to the development effort for the -1000 being the next priority as the -800 is a shrink so less effort than the -1000.”

The -800 is a straight-forward derivative of the -900, with several frames removed from the fuselage. The -1000 has some changes to the wing and a slightly different engine fan diameter than the baseline -900.

13 Comments on “Airbus sequence shift of A350s coming, reports customer. Airbus says ‘no’

  1. Not only Fabrice Bregier said this, look at the video from A350 first flight and you will hear the same sentence from Didier Evrard. But of course the Program manager and CEO can be wrong 🙂 .

    • “But of course the Program manager and CEO can be wrong”

      I don’t think they were wrong, they just meant something else (referring to the development effort for the -1000).

  2. Karel, you believe the spokesperson and we believe the CEO and Program manager. Everyone to their own 🙂

  3. But from what I’ve heard(and I might be wrong), but Airbus can’t bring forward the -1000 anyways due to the engines? So the only way there’ll be any shift is to just push the -800 after the -900 leaving an unplanned gap from 2014 to 2017

  4. Airbus has finally confronted the pink elephant in the room that is the -800. A shift was inevitable. They are unlikely to bring -1000 forward, therefore they will push -800 as far back as possible, creating empty -900 slots from H2 2016. It will buy them a little time to decide if they pursue A330neo or optimise A350 as an A330 replacement.

    “But Airbus’ media relations department says no re-sequence has been made.”
    It does not mean one will not occur sometime next year.

  5. Simply ignoring any ideas of a re-design of the -800 or ideas of bringing the -1000 schedule forward, there just doesn’t seem to be any good reason to continue with the -800 in it’s current form and schedule… Building and selling more -900s makes more money directly and will bring in more customer. The possibility of making something worthwhile out of the -800 rather than a dead dog is just icing on top (albeit rather meaty icing).

  6. If the case for the A350-800 is looking so bad, and if the engine is not the delaying point for the A350-1000, why would Airbus keep denying this reprioritisation?
    It seems almost as silly as Boeing’s denial that their 777xs will be VLAs.

  7. Pingback: A350 program update: EIS date set (sort of); ambiguity over -800; talk of a -1000 stretch | Leeham News and Comment

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