Skip to content

Written - The Funding of the Airbus Wing Design

Related Links

Tell us if you want any of the documents on this page in an alternative format.
Andrew Davies, Minister For Enterprise, Innovation And Networks

I assume that the request for this statement relates to the design of the wing for the Airbus A350 XWB.

On 1 December the EADS Board of Directors gave the go ahead for Airbus to launch the industrial programme for the new A350 XWB airliner family.  The A350 XWB, together with the A330/A340 aircraft family will meet a market that requires some 5,700 new aircraft being delivered in the next two decades.  It is a key market sector and the aircraft will go into direct competition with the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’.

The design and manufacture of the A350 XWB wings is a key work programme to secure the long-term future of Airbus’s Broughton plant, which has over 7,000 highly skilled employees.  This will be the first Airbus model largely constructed of composite materials, which are lighter than aluminium with the resulting benefits in fuel efficiency.  The development of composite wing technology is central, not only to maximising UK involvement in the A350 XWB, but also to maintaining UK wing leadership across the next generation of Airbus aircraft.  

The estimated €10 billion design and development costs of the A350 XWB, including the wings, will be financed predominantly from Airbus cash flows, with a strong contribution from the company’s Power8 competitiveness programme and from risk sharing partners.  EADS expects to spread the development costs of the full A350 XWB family of aircraft over the years 2007 to 2014 with the bulk of spending occurring in 2010 to 2013.