An Airbus A350 destined for British Airways has been damaged in a Toulouse paint shop. The aircraft, which is due to be delivered by the year’s end, will now need to undergo repairs before its customer acceptance.
British Airways is due to receive four Airbus A350 aircraft by the year’s end. Of these, it has already received two. Another aircraft is already in a period of customer acceptance flights. However, the fourth has been damaged while undergoing painting. Despite this, Airbus has assured Simple Flying that the aircraft will still be delivered in December.
As aircraft painting is typically conducted behind closed doors, it isn’t possible to say exactly what happened with certainty. However, rumors suggest that some scaffolding used to help painters reach the aircraft impacted with the horizontal stabilizer. One Twitter user commented that this left the aircraft looking like it had a “third wingtip”.
Both British Airways and Airbus confirmed to Simple Flying that an incident had taken place. British Airways told Simple Flying “Airbus has assured us that the aircraft will be fully repaired and delivered shortly.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Airbus commented: “We are working with our customer to rectify the situation and deliver the aircraft in December”. The incident is the second to occur to an Airbus aircraft during painting this month. Earlier this month, an Airbus A220 due to be delivered to Air Canada had to be repainted. The logo on the tail was applied the wrong way around.
Additionally, around the same time, an Airbus A380 was damaged in a Qantas hangar. The aircraft’s door was almost completely ripped off as the aircraft was moved around scaffolding.
A gamechanger for British Airways
The Airbus A350 has been a real gamechanger for British Airways, allowing the carrier to introduce its new Club Suite cabin. British Airways debuted its first Airbus A350 to Madrid towards the start of August. Since then, the carrier has gone on to roll out its first two aircraft to fly to Toronto and Dubai. Further new Airbus A350s will begin flying on the routes to Bengaluru and Tel Aviv.
British Airways has 18 Airbus A350 aircraft on order. All of these are the larger Airbus A350-1000. The first of these aircraft was delivered at the end of July, debuting to Madrid in August. Madrid was chosen, as the airline’s partner was already operating the Airbus A350-900 from the location.
Early next year, the airline will receive another new aircraft type as the first Boeing 787-10 is delivered. It will debut to Atlanta in February.
Have you flown on a British Airways A350 yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.