Airbus' new plane facing delays

Aviation sources say Boeing rival Airbus is beginning to show some of the same delays on its new A350XWB airliner that plagued Boeing on its new 787.

Flightblogger Jon Ostrower reports that the final assembly of the first example of the twin jet will begin in next year’s third quarter instead of in the first quarter as originally planned.

The new technologies involved in making an airliner largely out of composites instead of conventional metal lie at the root of some of the delays, Airbus executives have said.

The European manufacturer says it still intends to deliver the first plane on time to Qatar Airways in the middle of 2013.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is now 2½ years behind schedule for its first delivery. That delivery is now set for December but may slip into early 2011.