Airbus is assembling the main airframe sections of China Airline’s first A350 XWB at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France, as a 2016 third-quarter delivery date approaches.

The main airframe section assembly involves building the wing-fuselage junction, and installing the tailplane and tailcone. The aircraft will then be moved to the next assembly station for structural completion, ground testing of mechanical, electrical and avionics systems, and then the start of cabin installation.

China Airlines has 14 A350-900s on order, which it plans to deploy on its long-haul routes to Europe, Australia and the US as well as on selected regional routes. China Airlines operates 24 A330s and six A340s on regional and long-haul services.

To date, Airbus said it has recorded 777 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 41 customers.