Emirates wants to see how the Airbus A350-900 shapes up in initial flight-testing before examining whether to revive plans to make a larger commitment for the -1000 variant.
The Dubai carrier holds orders for 70 A350s, including 50 -900s and 20 -1000s, along with 20 options. The A350-900s were originally due to arrive from mid-2014, but Emirates Airline president Tim Clark says the delivery schedule is now "fluid" in the wake of the programme delays.
Prior to the June 2011 A350-1000 revamp and change to the development plan which pushed back service entry, Emirates considered switching all its A350 orders to the -1000, but that plan is on hold, says Clark.
"It's early days to see what the A350-1000 will do," he says. "We've told Airbus we'll wait to see how the -900 flies, how the engine performs, and whether it's reached its nominals."
The first Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered A350-900 rolled out of the paint shop in Toulouse on 13 May. It is due to begin flight-testing this summer.