Airbus set to move ahead with A350 freighter within weeks

Airbus SE is poised to begin taking orders for a freighter version of its A350 wide-body as soon as next month, in a challenge to Boeing Co.’s dominance in the market for dedicated cargo aircraft.
The European planemaker has been speaking to more than a dozen potential customers and will seek board authorization to market the new plane in the coming weeks, provided it can line up enough commitments, according to people familiar with the matter. The program could officially launch by year-end, said the people, who sought anonymity discussing confidential matters.
Going after a segment where Boeing has long held sway would mark a major strategic push for Airbus. Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury told Bloomberg News in April that he’s keen to challenge his U.S. rival and that the A350, a modern, lightweight plane with carbon-fiber wings and hull, would be “a strong candidate” for a freighter.