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Airbus Says First Delivery Of A350 To Qatar Postponed

Airbus Says First Delivery Of A350 To Qatar Postponed

The new Airbus A350 was scheduled for delivery on Saturday, December 13.

First delivery of the new Airbus A350, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 13, has been postponed and no new date has been set, the planemaker and the airline said on Wednesday.

“We are working very closely with Qatar Airways to meet our common goal to deliver their first A350 XWB very soon,” an Airbus spokesman said.

On its Facebook page, Qatar said that it and Airbus were committed to introducing the A350 very soon but did not give a reason for the delay.

Qatar Airways is the biggest customer for Airbus’s new-generation wide-body aircraft. It has in the past refused to take delivery of aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing, citing what it describes as its exceptionally high standards.

This year, it accepted the first delivery of an A380 superjumbo in September after a three-month delay blamed on a dispute over the quality of cabin fittings.

In 2011, European cargo carrier Cargolux rejected delivery of a freighter version of Boeing’s 747-8 shortly after Qatar Airways took a 35 percent stake in Cargolux, which it subsequently sold. The delay was blamed on a contractual spat over fuel consumption.

The A350 is Airbus’ newest, most technically advanced jet. The A350-900 is designed to seat 314 passengers and will be in direct competition with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

A larger model, the 350-seat A350-1000, which targets the “mini-jumbo” market occupied by the Boeing 777, is due to enter service in 2017 after its own safety certification process.

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