The on/off delivery of the first Airbus A350-900 to launch customer Qatar Airways is now set to take place on 22 December.
Qatar Airways and Airbus plan to hold a delivery ceremony in Toulouse attended by the airline’s chief executive Akbar Al Baker along with Airbus chief Fabrice Bregier and Rolls-Royce head John Rishton.
Hand-over of the first of 80 A350s to Qatar Airways was due to take place on 13 December in Toulouse following formal transfer from Airbus’s industrial division to its delivery centre on 3 December. But with four days to go before the planned Toulouse hand-over, Qatar revealed that plans to take the aircraft had been “postponed until further notice”.
Airbus says the original delivery was held up by minor technical matters requiring a small amount of additional testing before Qatar Airways will agree to accept the aircraft. A350 programme chief Didier Evrard, speaking during an investor forum in London on 11 December, conceded the 10-day interval that Airbus had allowed between hand-over from the production arm to the delivery centre was normal but suggested it was a “little optimistic” for the first example of a new aircraft.