Airbus hopes to deliver up to 80 A350 aircraft in 2017: sources

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A white-painted $300-million A350 jetliner being prepared for delivery without an airline livery is seen on the tarmac in Colomiers, near Toulouse, France, November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Tim Hepher (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Airbus tentatively aims to deliver as many as 80 A350 jetliners in 2017, two people familiar with the plans said on Friday.

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The target marks a new stage in ambitious plans to raise output of the company's newest long-haul jet to 10 a month in 2018, but depends mainly on how successful suppliers will be in curbing delays in cabin equipment.

An Airbus spokesman declined to comment on the provisional thinking on deliveries for 2017, which would equate to production of just under 7 aircraft a month.

Airbus is expected to give details of its 2017 delivery plans in February.

Speaking at an event to mark the first flight of the large A350-1000 variant on Thursday, Airbus planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier said he was more optimistic than before about reaching a target of at least 50 A350 deliveries in 2016.

Airbus delivered the 35th airplane of the year on Thursday.

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(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)