March 6, 2013 / 4:06 PM / 5 years ago

Qatar Air says Airbus to abandon smallest type of A350

BERLIN, March 6 (Reuters) - The largest customer of Airbus’s new A350 jetliner cast doubt on the future of the plane’s smallest variant on Wednesday, saying the European planemaker had decided to focus on two larger wide-body models.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, who recently cancelled an order for the A350-800 and boosted orders for larger types, said the 270-seater would likely not be built.

“This is what they (Airbus) told us,” he told reporters at a trade fair.

Airbus said it was sticking by the model.

“The A350-800 is a key member of our next-generation A350 family,” spokesman Stefan Schaffrath said.

Airbus had 92 A350-800 aircraft on its order book at the end of January, compared with 395 of the 314-seat A350-900, the first variant slated to enter service in late 2014.

The EADS unit has also sold 105 of its 350-seat A350-1000, a 350-seat long-haul jet expected to enter service in 2017.

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