Airbus A350 Sticks to Schedule So Far, Rockwell Says

Airbus SAS’s new A350 jet, a competitor to Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner, “seems to be” on schedule, with no delays in the program, avionics supplier Rockwell Collins Inc. said.

Work on the plane is “going very well,” Rockwell Collins Chief Executive Officer Clay Jones said today on a conference call with analysts and investors. Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Rockwell Collins is providing three avionics packages for the jet, among other contracts.

“We’re using technology that is reusable from our work on the 787, so we’re getting benefits on that” both in cost and schedule, Jones said.

Airbus won 558 firm A350 orders through September, making it the company’s fastest-selling model to date. Toulouse, France-based Airbus aims to keep its schedule for putting the plane into service in July 2013, after the A380 jumbo jet was marred by years of delays and slower-than-planned production. Boeing is about three years behind on the 787, with first deliveries now set for early 2011.

“Keep in mind that we’re two-and-a-half, three years away on the A350, and at this time on the Dreamliner, we felt pretty good too,” Jones said in an interview. “So let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But for my systems, we’re progressing on schedule.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Susanna Ray in Seattle at sray7@bloomberg.net; Andrea Rothman in Toulouse, France, at aerothman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net; Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net.

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