Airbus is aiming for certification of its A350-900 in the third quarter of 2014, and entry into service in the fourth quarter.
The airframer’s chief executive, Fabrice Bregier, disclosed the current schedule during an EADS global investor forum in London.
Two flight-test aircraft – MSN1 and MSN3 – have already logged over 700h. Bregier says the first cabin-fitted A350, MSN2, will start flying at the end of February 2014.
He says the airframer needs to deliver the full five-aircraft test fleet to stay on track for third-quarter type certification and is preparing, with initial customer Qatar Airways, for service entry in the fourth quarter.
Sections of Qatar Airways’ first A350, MSN6, are due to be transported shortly to the final assembly line in Toulouse.
Bregier adds that ground work is continuing on the static airframe and that ultimate load-limit testing will take place in the “coming weeks”, adding that he is “confident” that these test will be passed.