Airbus A350 wins European safety approval

Airbus A350 wins European safety approval

PARIS - Europe's aviation regulator said on Tuesday it had awarded safety approval for the Airbus A350, completing the regulatory steps needed for the lightweight jet to start flying passengers.

The European Aviation Safety Agency said Airbus, the planemaking unit of Airbus Group, had demonstrated the airworthiness of its first mainly carbon-fibre jet during over a year of flight trials and called it a "mature aircraft".

The version off the jet certified by EASA on Tuesday, the A350-900, is designed to seat 314 passengers and is due to enter service with Qatar Airways before the end of the year in direct competition with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

A larger model, the 350-seat A350-1000, which targets the'mini-jumbo' market occupied by the Boeing 777, is due to enter service in 2017 after a separate safety certification process.

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