Airbus is aiming to certificate the A350 XWB with 350min extended twin-engined operations (ETOPS) capability upon the type's entry into service in 2013, following this year's changes to ETOPS regulations.

The US Federal Aviation Administration revised its ETOPS requirements at the beginning of the year to enable suitably equipped aircraft to conduct unrestricted ETOPS flights.

This will enable twin-engined aircraft to operate more efficient oceanic and polar routes by broadening the number of alternative airports available.

 © Airbus
The A350 XWB will make its debut with Qatar airways in 2013

Airbus A330s have already been approved for 180min ETOPS under these changes. The approval covers all three engine models available on the type.

But Airbus says it is "studying the requirements" for obtaining ETOPS certification for the A330 beyond 180min and states that the A350 XWB is "being designed" to offer up to 350min ETOPS capability on service entry. The latter is scheduled to take place in 2013 with Qatar Airways.