Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

ISRAELI STRIKE TAKES OUT GAZA POWER STATION AND ZHOU FALLS FROM GRACE

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

  • Deadly shelling strikes Gaza UN school

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Europe launches last resupply ship to space station

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

Business

Fuel-saving Airbus A350 makes maiden flight

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-14

Europe’s newest passenger jet, the Airbus A350, successfully began its maiden flight on Friday in a milestone moment for the European giant as it battles against Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner for sales of fuel-saving lightweight carbon-composite jets.

Airbus's next-generation A350 took its maiden flight on Friday, setting the stage for intensifying competition with US rival Boeing in the long-haul wide-body aircraft market.

With more than 10,000 employees and spectators looking on, the sleek jet – crewed by two British and French former fighter pilots and with tonnes of test equipment on board – took off into cloudy skies from the French city of Toulouse for a four-hour flight.

The event marks a milestone for the A350, which Airbus hopes will challenge Boeing's 787 Dreamliner in the lucrative long-haul market.

CEO of parent company EADS Tom Enders described the event as “a very special moment in an aerospace company”. The plane caps eight years of development estimated to be worth $15 billion.

More than half of the A350 is made of light composite materials that reduce jet fuel, which make up about half the cost of long-haul flights.

It is now set to enter a test-flying period that Airbus hopes will last less than 18 months, with the first delivery expected at the end of next year. Confirmed customers so far include Qatar Airways, British Airways and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific.

The European company is predicting hundreds of orders for the A350 at next week's Paris Air Show.

Boeing is still recovering from problems with the lithium batteries on its 787 Dreamliner, but currently dominates the long-haul market with the 787 and 777.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-06-13

  • FRANCE - CHINA

    France hopes billion-dollar China Airbus deal is first of many

    Read more

  • FRANCE-CHINA

    China says it will buy 60 Airbus planes from France

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Record 3.22 million jobseekers in France

    Read more

COMMENT(S)