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PARIS (Reuters) - European planemaker Airbus expects its A350 mid-sized jetliner program to be profitable from 2019 before becoming a prime source of profits, Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said on Tuesday.
Airbus has firm orders for 780 A350s from about 40 airlines around the world, Bregier said a day after its first delivery of the aircraft to Qatar Airways.
"We think (it) will become profitable towards the end of the decade, so towards 2019," Bregier said on RTL radio. "From then, it will be one of the biggest contributors to Airbus' profitability."
Airbus' newest jet, the A350 was developed at a cost of 11 billion euros ($13.45 billion) and is designed to compete with the twin-engined Boeing 787 and 777 models.
Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Mark John