The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration awarded the Airbus A350-900 type certification on Wednesday at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Peggy Gilligan and Airbus Group chairman Allan McArtor joined FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to take part in the official signing ceremony. The milestone follows the A350-900 type certification awarded by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on September 30. American Airlines, which holds an order for 22 A350-900s, expects to take first delivery in 2017. Another one-time U.S. customer, United Airlines, last year replaced an order for 25 A350-900s with an order for 35 A350-1000s.
The A350-900's respective FAA and EASA certification awards come after a fleet of five test aircraft accumulated more than 2,600 flight-test hours since first flight on June 14 of last year. The family of aircraft, which still officially includes the A350-800, has drawn firm orders for 750 airplanes from 39 customers. Launch customer Qatar Airways plans to take first delivery in early December and place it into service on a route linking Doha with Frankfurt in January.