Airbus unveils first cabin for new A350 jet

European planemaker Airbus has unveiled the first cabin for its new twin-engined airliner, the A350 XWB, vowing to avoid a repeat of the previous delays caused by cabin design changes on its bigger A380 super jumbo. Airbus delivered the first A380 two years late, hit by delays stemming from a surge in demand for customised interiors and problems of installing electrical wiring harnesses. Executives said yesterday the first A350, Airbus’ wide body rival to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, was still on track to be delivered to launch customer Qatar Airways at the end of this year, with certification in the autumn. POTENTIAL DELAYS While it is offering customisation options, such as a choice of seats and LED lighting, of which there are 16.7 million different colours on offer, Airbus is hoping its new customisation centre in Hamburg plus a catalogue of specific options will reduce potential delays. Suppliers are also certified ahead of being included in the catalogue, another measure that is meant to prevent delays. “It’s enabling us to keep an eye on the industrial rampup,” Chris Emerson, senior vice-president of marketing, told Reuters, while standing in front of the first test A350 to be fitted with a passenger interior.

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