Finnair’s first Airbus A350 has entered the final assembly line at Toulouse, as the airframer maintains pressure on its ramp-up phase for the type.

A350 programme manager Didier Evrard stated during an investor forum in London that MSN18 had entered the line.

Finnair A350 MSN18

This aircraft is set to be the first of 19 that Finnair is ordering. Final assembly is already underway for additional A350s bound for Qatar Airways as well as Vietnam Airlines.

Evrard says that 12 customer aircraft are in progress at Toulouse, and that the production rate has reached three aircraft per month.

Airbus is aiming for a rate of 10 per month within four years of entry into service.

Vertical fins up to MSN25 have been manufactured at the facility in Stade while the plant in Getafe has built tail-cone sections up to MSN35 and horizontal stabilisers up to MSN23.

“By having the certification done quickly, we now have a very stable definition that we can safely base our industrial ramp-up on,” says Evrard. This ramp-up will start next year.

Development of the larger A350-1000 is “more than halfway through”, Evrard says, with the first aircraft due to enter final assembly at the beginning of 2016.

Several major components for the jet are already being manufactured, including wing covers, the centre wing-box, the main landing-gear and carbonfibre components for the doors.

“This aircraft benefits a lot from the -900,” says Evrard, adding that Airbus has been able to implement a “right-first-time” approach for the -1000.

Source: Cirium Dashboard