Airbus has delayed the entry-into-service date for the A350F, the freighter version of the A350 XWB.
“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 Xavier Tardy, the interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Airbus, during the company’s Q1 2023 results presentation.
However, Tardy said that there would be no change “in the thinking of the program, just that the entry into service is now slightly pushed into the beginning of 2026”.
“It is the execution of the development program,” Tardy added.
While the company’s CFO refused to comment on the specific cost of the program, and whether the delay will increase the expenses related to the development of the A350F, Tardy pointed out that the new entry-into-service date would not affect the Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) and Free Cash Flow (FCF) guidance for 2023.
During the Q1 2023 results presentation, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) also revealed that its net profit for the year had more than halved due to supply chain issues which negatively impacted operations during the quarter.
In early April 2023, Airbus began manufacturing the first parts for the A350F, including the vertical cruciform, which is a massive fitting joining the outer-wing boxes to the Centre Wing Box (CWB). Airbus said that the CWB for the freighter version of the aircraft had to be reinforced to support heavier loads and containers that the A350F will transport.
The A350F was announced in July 2021, with an entry-into-service date of 2025.