There was considerable drama at the very beginning: Airbus was dead set on delivering the first A350 in the 2014 calendar year to show that it could stick to a schedule. But it had to convince launch operator Qatar Airways—and CEO Akbar Al Baker in particular—that the aircraft was indeed ready to be accepted. When Al Baker refused to take the aircraft on the original date, Airbus had to cancel the handover event at the last moment (and a buffet lunch for hundreds of guests that ...

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