June 5, 2017 / 12:37 AM / 2 years ago

Finnair says its A350 deliveries getting back on track

FILE PHOTO: A Finnair Airbus A320 aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) - Deliveries of A350 widebody jets, which have been hit by delays to cabin equipment, are getting much closer to their forecasted delivery dates, the chief executive of Finland’s state-controlled carrier, Finnair, said on Sunday.

“Recently they’ve been fairly good,” Pekka Vauramo said in an interview on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Cancun on Sunday. “We just got one two days ago, our ninth, and it was shipped within one or two days of when it was supposed to be.”

Deliveries of the A350 jet made by Airbus (AIR.PA) have been held up because of problems with the cabin equipment supplied by Zodiac Aerospace ZODC.PA. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines said earlier it expected the first two of its A350s to be slightly delayed.

Finnair was the first European operator of the A350 and is due to receive two more of the A350 planes this year, to take its total to 11. Overall, it expects to have 19 by 2023.

The carrier will make a decision within the next couple of years on its next-generation narrow-body needs, Vauramo added.

“We need some more time. What’s most important for now is that we execute our growth plan and increase our profitability,” he said.

He declined to give a profit outlook for this year but said Finnair had seen improved profits for 10 consecutive quarters and like European rivals, was seeing pressure on yields ease this year.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Peter Cooney

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