Airbus mulls new assembly line for A350-1000
Feb. 27, 2013, Toulouse, Fra. - Airbus is considering adding another assembly line for its new wide-body A350-1000 aircraft to help meet the increasing demand for the largest version of the airliner.
Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that after the A350 receiving more than 600 orders, the company has plans to ramp up capacity for the A350-1000 variant.
A decision could be made by the end of this year, Leahy added.
In October, Airbus began the production of the baseline A350-900, with the smaller A350-800 due to enter service in 2016 followed by the A350-1000 in 2017.
The 350-seat A350-1000, which has a list price of $332 million, has received 105 firm commitments in total, which includes an order for ten aircraft from Cathay Pacific Airways of Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, the A350, which will compete with rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, is scheduled to take its maiden flight in mid-2013 and begin deliveries in the second half of 2014.
Recently, Airbus scrapped its plans to use lithium-ion batteries for its A350 jetliner amid concerns that they could lead to delays in the program schedule.
The decision has been taken in response to concerns that the investigations into the Boeing 787 Dreamliners' lithium-ion battery problems could lead to changes in regulations.
Airbus will instead switch to traditional nickel-cadmium batteries for the wide body aircraft.
Initially, the European aircraft manufacturer planned to use four rechargeable lithium batteries on its A350 to provide electrical power on the ground and backup energy during the flight.
Earlier this week, Airbus selected Rockwell Collins to supply the rudder/brake pedal assembly for A350 XWB jets.
Meanwhile, Airbus is in negotiations with multiple airlines to achieve its target of securing 25 new firm orders for its A380 superjumbo jets.