16 January 2014
“The A350-800 would likely not be built”. But there are still 61 orders that need to be upgraded before officially cancelling the smaller variant of the A350 XWB family.
After the announcement from American Airlines Group to convert all of its order for Airbus A350 aircraft (22 aircraft) to the larger -900 variant, the A350-800 only has 61 remaining firm orders. This decision from American Airlines is considered key for the A350-800 future.
These orders include 12 from lessor Aircraft Purchase Fleet, 10 from Yemenia and 8 from Aeroflot (from originally 18 ordered).
The -800 has not secured an order for over 4 years and its backlog has depleted as customers migrate to the larger -900. Airbus has declared that they had decided to focus on two larger wide-body models (-900 and -1000). During the Paris Air Show in June, Didier Evrard Head of Program said that there was no allocated MSN for first A350-800 yet so it is not expected to be before MSN150.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (who cancelled an order for the A350-800 and boosted orders for larger types), said the 270-seater would likely not be built. "This is what they (Airbus) told us," he told reporters at a trade fair.
Airbus had also announced in July the Regional variant of the A350-900 with the same engines than previously planned for A350-800.
Based on the article “American converts remaining A350-800s to larger -900s” published in Flight Global