European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced that production began of its new A350 XWB at the German fac- tory of Stade in Germany late last August. The CEO of Airbus, Tom Enders, considered the start of production to be "a milestone for this important aeronautical programme" which incorporates composite materials and carbon fibre components. The A350 is a long-distance airliner with a capacity of from 270 to 400 passengers depending on the model and a range of 15,380 km.
The aircraft will have its maiden flight in 2012 and delivery to customers will commence in 2013. The A350XWB, which will compete with Boeing's B-787 Dreamliner, is equipped with all the latest technology de- veloped in recent years, as is the case of the Airbus A340- 500, the A340-600 and the A380, along with the B-787 itself. In addition, it has a more aerodynamic design and incorporates all the technological innovations of the A380 and increated use of composite materials.