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A350 reliability ahead of target: Bregier

Airbus is expecting to reach its operational reliability target on the A350-900 earlier than expected.

Commercial aircraft president Fabrice Bregier, speaking during a briefing in Toulouse, praised the in-service performance of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered twinjet.

"We can say we're even a bit ahead of our target," he says, referring to the model's operational reliability.

He says Airbus has been aiming for reliability of 99% by the end of 2017, but adds: "We're close to this number already."

The figure had reached 97.2% in 2015, rising to 98.3% last year, and has edged up to 98.8% according to Airbus programmes chief Didier Evrard, who led development of the A350.

Bregier claims the progress represents "probably the fastest achievement", in terms of maturity, compared with competing aircraft or even Airbus's own range.

He is confident that the production ramp-up is on track to meet a monthly output of 10 aircraft next year.

Bregier adds that the problematic cabin interior elements, which have held up deliveries, are being "better controlled", but there is still work to complete.

"Not that the quality is bad," he insists. "But not yet good enough to cope with the best new widebody in the world."

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