Watch out Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Airbus A350 is nipping at your heels. The A350 was officially sent skyward Friday for a four-hour test flight in France, marking a new milestone in the battle between the two companies, who each hold a corner in the market for wide-body planes.
USA Today reports that thousands of people came out to see the plane take off in person, and about 60 Airbus workers in offices near Washington’s Dulles airport erupted in applause after the plane safely touched down at 8:06 a.m. eastern time.
According to the news outlet, Airbus plans to start delivering the 616 orders it has for the A350 sometime next year. By comparison, Boeing has already delivered nearly 60 787 Dreamliners and has more than 800 orders worldwide, despite some early issues with lithium-ion batteries that caused the entire fleet to be grounded for three months earlier this year.