With next week's Paris Air Show just around the corner, Airbus announced on Tuesday that the first flight of its new A350 XWB (extra wide body) jet will take place on Friday.
The A350, which has been in the making since 2004, is Airbus' first commercial jet to be made primarily from composite materials, offering better fuel efficiency and the latest in passenger comfort.
The plane will help it compete with Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, also made largely from light-weight composite materials.
Airbus has proceeded cautiously after the Dreamliner, which was launched in September 2011, faced several battery malfunctions earlier this year. That led regulators to ground the plane for several months until Boeing could fix the problem.
Last week, Airbus' chief operating officer John Leahy told Aviation Week the plane-maker was not going to rush the first flight of the A350: "We are not going to fall victim like Boeing did with the 787."
On Friday, Airbus said in a press release that the A350 flight test teams are now carrying out the last checks on the the aircraft "MSN1" before they give their final green light for the first flight.