Airbus burns through A350 development buffer

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Airbus has burned up its development buffer for the A350 XWB but remains confident over the final assembly schedule and entry into service.

Parent company EADS's chief financial officer, Hans Peter Ring, said today that there was "very little" buffer left in the A350 development timetable, adding: "Literally [it's] no longer existing."

But he said the manufacture of the larger components was progressing "quite well" and the airframer had "not discovered any show-stoppers so far".

"Problems are being solved," he said. "At same time issues remain and have to be solved."

He said the company expected to achieve a more "mature assessment" of the timeline during the second half of this year, when the assembly process would "really become tangible" and allow it to discover "whether everything is in place and everything is working".

Airbus is intending to begin final assembly of the A350 by the end of this year and is aiming for service entry in the second half of 2013.