Airbus said in Wednesday’s earnings report that it has pushed back the first delivery of the all-new A350 freighter into 2026.
No reason was given for the adjusted timetable, but aircraft manufacturers have been dealing with difficulties sourcing materials and hiring personnel. Engine-makers are struggling to make enough engines and provide spares to replace engines that are wearing out faster than expected.
Airbus (DXE: AIR) said the first A350 components were recently produced at its plant in Nantes, France.
“We are in the execution of the program, we are in the development phase, we are starting the initialization of the product, so we are updating constantly the planning and what we have said today reflects a slight slippage of the overall planning,” said Interim CFO Xavier Tardy during the earnings presentation.
Launch customer Qatar Airways was supposed to receive the first freighter in late 2025, but the entry into service has now slipped several months.
Airbus has 35 firm orders for the A350, including from CMA CGM Air Cargo, Etihad Airways, Air France/KLM, Silkway West Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
Boeing is also developing a next-generation large freighter based on the 777 model. The program has faced several years of delays and must still be certified by U.S. aviation regulators.
Airbus says its large freighter will have 30 tons less maximum takeoff weight than either the legacy or future Boeing 777, which will save fuel and airport landing fees.
Airbus posted first-quarter adjusted quarterly operating earnings of 773 million euros ($854 million), down 39% year over year, as revenues dipped 2%. It delivered 127 aircraft in the first quarter and maintained its goal of delivering about 720 planes to airlines or other customers by the end of the year.
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