Airbus’s A350-900 superjumbo ready to fly after receiving Euorpean safety clearance
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European aircraft builder Airbus has received EU safety clearance for its huge new long-haul superjumbo jet, meaning that the A350-900 can now take off in competition with Boeing’s Dreamliner.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Tuesday issued a type certificate for the A350-900, declaring that “the aircraft complies with the regulatory safety and environment requirements defined by EASA for the European Union”.
The ultra-modern Airbus A350-900, which is equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, can carry 315 passengers for up to 14,500 kilometres.
It can now be delivered to its first buyer, Qatar Airways.
Airbus invested 10-12 billion euros in the project in an attempt to compete with US rival Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and its 777.
In mid-August Airbus announced that the A350-900 had finished its “route proving” by flying around the world in 20 days under real flight conditions.
It travelled 151,300 kilometres, flew for 180 hours and touched down in 14 airports.
In 14 months of tests the A350-900 notched up 2,600 hours in flight.
"We dealt with a very mature aircraft,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said in a statement. “Airbus and EASA have learnt from experience and have established pragmatic working methods which have proved to be the recipe for the successful type certification and the way forward for future certification programmes. I wish a long and safe journey to the A350 programme throughout its life in service".
Airbus’s largest factory is in Toulouse in the south of France.