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A330neo first flight likely to slip to September

Airbus will now perform the first flight of its A330neo “at the end of the summer”, a significant delay over its previous timeline for the re-engined aircraft.

Speaking at an event in Toulouse, Airbus executive vice-president for programmes Didier Evrard confirmed the slippage.

The initial Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine has successfully completed tests, he says: “We will install it during the summer and fly at the end of the summer.”

This maiden flight, he says, would likely take place around September rather than August, due to the lengthy summer break in France.

Both Trent 7000 powerplants will arrive by the end of the first half, says Evrard.

Earlier this year, Airbus chief Fabrice Bregier indicated that the A330neo would make its maiden sortie during the first half of 2017.

When it launched the programme in 2014, Airbus intended deliveries to begin by late 2017. That milestone is currently scheduled for spring 2018.

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