Airbus A350 ‘Very Challenging’ on Timescale, GKN Says

(Corrects headline and first paragraph to say “challenging” instead of “challenged.”)

Airbus SAS’s wide-body A350 aircraft, which the manufacturer has said will enter service in the first half of 2014, is “challenging” technically and from its proposed timescale, supplier GKN Plc (GKN) said.

GKN is working “incredibly hard” and has delivered the first set of composite wing spars for the aircraft, GKN Chief Executive Officer Nigel Stein said on a conference call today, declining to predict when the plane would enter service.

“Where it goes from there is a matter for them,” he said.

GKN gets $2.5 million in revenue from each A350 for which it supplies parts, and about $2.6 million for each Boeing Co. (BA) 787, the Redditch, England-based company said in an earnings statement today.

GKN sent Boeing 25 so-called shipsets for the 787 last year and predicts it will send “slightly more” than that in 2012, Stein said. A shipset is a set of parts toward constructing a plane. Stein declined to make further projections for production rates this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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