What is in this article?:
- Airbus inaugurates final assembly line for A350 XWB
- New jet aims to take long-range traffic from Boeing
- Germany freezes payment, report says
- Composite materials comprise more than half of aircraft
Airbus inaugurated an assembly line Tuesday for its new A350 jets, which the European manufacturer hopes will break Boeing's domination of the long-haul passenger aircraft market.
A German newspaper report due out on Wednesday suggested, meanwhile, that funds for the A350 expected from Berlin might be held up pending the resolution of questions about work on the plane and future projects to be done in Germany.
Airbus has become a symbol of European excellence and shows that "France and Europe can succeed in international competition," French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said at the ceremony that opened the 74,000 square-meter (800,000 square-foot) facility outside the southwestern city of Toulouse.
Aims to Capture 50% of Long-Haul Market
The A350XWB (extra-wide body), which Airbus expects to begin delivering in 2014, will "allow us to capture 50% of the long-haul aircraft market," forecast the company's CEO Fabrice Bregier.
Airbus has dethroned Boeing (IW 500/16) in the medium-haul segment, but the American manufacturer still dominates the long-range market with its 747, 777 and new 787 Dreamliner.
The A350XWB will complete Airbus' long-haul stable, which includes the A380 super jumbo and the A330.