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Didier Evrard, Head of Programmes at Airbus, has been awarded the 2015 Icare prize

News International-French

22 May 2015

This prize distinguishes him for his key role in the A350 XWB programme

Didier Evrard, Head of Programmes at Airbus, was awarded the 2015 Icare prize by the France-based Association for Professional Aeronautics and Aerospace Journalists (AJPAE). He received this accolade as Head of the A350 XWB Programme, a role he held from 2007 to 2014. This association of journalists wished to highlight the exemplary manner in which he led this ambitious programme –­ which involves around 12,000 Airbus employees.

Didier Evrard assumed his duties as Head of the A350 XWB Programme in January 2007, with the objective of successfully leading the industrial development of this latest-generation long-range aircraft. He met this challenge brilliantly up to the first delivery of the aircraft, in line with the programme schedule. The A350 XWB was certified in September 2014 after an intensive flight test campaign. On 22nd December 2014, the latest addition to Airbus' wide-body family was delivered to Qatar Airways. Since 1st January 2015, Didier Evrard is responsible for all the Airbus programmes and is a member of the Executive Committee.

"I am very honoured by the award which is being given to me today," stated Didier Evrard. "The A350 XWB development is first and foremost a human adventure, a group effort, and the result of a united team, enriched by its diversity and experiences, committed and passionate. It's the consecration of several years of work for thousands of highly qualified and skilled people, both at Airbus and at our partners and suppliers. The roadmap was very ambitious. Above all, it was necessary to accelerate technologies which were not yet fully mature in order to manufacture a carbon aircraft, establish industrial bases to support the suppliers and prepare for series production. Together, we successfully confronted the challenges of developing a brand new, cutting-edge technology aircraft," he added.

The programme is now in the production phase and the aim is to achieve a delivery rate of 10 aircraft per month by the end of 2018. Airbus has already sold 780 of these long-range aircraft to 40 customers, and predicts a demand for more than 7,250 new passenger aircraft in this segment over the next 20 years.