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First private A350 sold by Airbus to Dubai client

The unnamed corporate customer will receive the A350 in 2020

Share on Facebook December 7, 2014, Reporter : BigNewsNet, Reader : 760


DUBAI, UAE - Airbus has announced the sale of its first A350 to a private customer, at a press conference in Dubai on Sunday.

The unnamed corporate customer will not receive the A350 until 2020, said Benoit Defforge, the president of the corporate jets division of the European aircraft manufacturer (Airbus Corporate Jets).

"The first priority for the 350 will be for the [commercial] airlines," he told journalists.

The widebody aircraft, the first Airbus model to feature extensive use of carbon fibre in a direct effort to compete with the new 787 Dreamliner by Boeing, will enter commercial service later this month with Qatar Airways.

The Qatari national carrier has ordered 80 of the A350 models and plans to deploy the aircraft initially on its Doha to Frankfurt service.

The A350 accommodates between 276 and 369 seats and is available in three different configurations for commercial clients. It will likely feature extensive interior customisation for the unnamed private client, but Defforge did not specify any details.

The A350 sells from US $260 to US $340-million at list prices depending on the variant, according to the Airbus website.

Airbus has traditionally focused its long-haul corporate sales on its A330 and A340 fleet, of which it has sold 40 to private customers that include heads of state, companies and individuals.

The aircraft manufacturer has not detailed any plans to aggressively market the A350 at private clients.

Airbus sold an A380, the largest passenger plane in the world, to Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal in 2007. The superjumbo, dubbed "the flying palace," was sold in 2012, according to reports.

The A350 is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer. Development costs are projected to be US $15-billion and the airliner is scheduled to enter airline service in 2014.

As of December 2013, Airbus had received orders for 812 aircraft from 39 customers around the globe, led by Qatar Airways, the launch customer.


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