Sticking to the old rule that you never interrupt a rival when they making all the wrong noises Airbus has been rather quiet about the A350 lately.
But its Twitter feed did flash up this photo of the wing tip fences or feathers as have been sometimes called being fitted to what looks like the first of the new wide body twin jets that will fly at the start of its test and certification program sometime before early June.
There now seems to be a reasonable prospect of the A350-900 entering service by the end of next year, which should if things turn around on the Dreamliner program, be about the same time the first of extended fuselage 787-9s are also delivered.
The new Airbus model is specified to be slightly larger in passenger seating but similar in range to the second version of the Boeing 787. Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to order both A350s and 787-9s but has now doubled its order for the former and punted the latter to its Scoot low cost subsidiary.
Air France KLM has also ordered both types, the Air France brand taking A350-900s in 2018 and the KLM brand starting with 787-9s in 2016, although the company that owns both airlines said that in due course each would fly each type across their networks.