Leasing company Aircraft Purchase Fleet has canceled an order for 12 A350-800s, the smallest version of the A350 XWB family.
APF is the special purpose company set up for Alitalia Airlines, which is a financial basket case. In this case, the -800s were not upgraded to -900s or -1000s, according to the monthly Airbus Orders and Deliveries tally.
Airbus has been encouraging customers to opt for larger models of the twin-engine long-range airplane, including the A350-900 now in flight testing and due to enter service this year. The latest in a series of cancellations for the A350-800 shrinks the backlog for this type to only 34 aircraft, including from Hawaiian Airlines and Russia's Aeroflot.
The A350-800 is due from 2016, although Airbus officials have said they may shift the date until the end of the decade as the company focuses on fielding larger models that also carry a higher price, including the 369-seat A350-1000 scheduled to enter service in 2017.
Airbus could communicate the decision of going ahead with the A350-800 or with the A330neo (new engines) in Farnborough Air-show next July.
Based on the article “More A350-800 orders vanish” published in Leeham News and Comments and based on the article “Airbus Orders Hurt by Cancellations” published in The Wall Street Journal.