French strike may hit Airbus A350 debut

Strikes risk upsetting preparations for maiden flight

The strikes in France risk upsetting preparations for the maiden flight of Europe’s newest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A350, Reuters reports.
While airlines are cancelling flights to Toulouse, the aircraft manufacturer’s base, this week’s protests by air traffic controllers threaten to hit the possible date of June 14 for the first flight.
A definite date is also subject to the weather and the results of a final set of ground trials. But the eagerly awaited A350 debut is dominating the build-up to the June 17-23 Paris Airshow and is especially important to Airbus in its intense competition with Boeing, which leads the market for long-range, wide-bodied passenger jets. Airbus really wants to fly the plane in advance of the event.
[image courtesy Airbus]


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