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Grain of Salt: A350 production delay fears

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A350 production delay fears

Mar 26 2008 by Alistair Houghton, Liverpool Daily Post

FEARS have surfaced that production of Airbus’ newest passenger jet – the extra wide-bodied A350 XWB – may be delayed.

The redesigned A350 is struggling to catch up with rival aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s hugely successful 787 Dreamliner which was launched four years ago and has captured more than 800 orders to date.

Wings for the A350 are to be made from carbon composite materials at Airbus’s aerospace complex at Broughton, near Chester. The work is seen as crucial in helping secure the future of the site and its 7,000 jobs in the development of a new generation of lighter, more fuel-efficient airliners.

Some thoughts:

Amazingly enough, this is the entire article that was posted to the Liverpool Daily Post early this morning. There's no attribution whatsoever and it reads like it's missing about six paragraphs explaining what 'FEARS' actually means. I'm not usually one to call a reporter out, but unless you have something factual to back up such claims or your editor decided to remove the purpose for your story, then just don't even bother.

With first flight four years away, this article has a Malaysia Sun feel to it; ample heat, but no light.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any insight as to what this may actually be about.

UPDATE 9:10 AM 3/27: It appears this report yesterday is based upon the sale of factory sites to MT Aerospace. The talks have collapsed, raising questions about production sites for the A350.

The situation, if not resolved shortly could significantly impact the A350. A report on March 20 from Dow Jones in Frankfurt reported the following:

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--The chief executive of Airbus sees the timeframe for the long-haul aircraft A350XWB in danger if a decision isn't made soon on the sale of the Airbus sites the company aims to dispose of, Financial Times Deutschland reports Thursday.

The paper quoted unnamed sources as saying Thomas Enders has demanded clarity within the next two to three weeks on what the next steps towards a sale will be. Sources say negotitations with OHB/MT Aerospace, which has been talking with Airbus about the German sites, have been halted, as a solution acceptable to Airbus wasn't attainable.

An Airbus spokesman told FTD the company doesn't comment on rumors. Negotiations are ongoing, he said.

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