PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus
The flight will take place at 10:00 am local time (4.00 a.m. ET) from the EADS subsidiary's Toulouse headquarters in southwest France.
The first sortie of Europe's newest passenger plane follows seven years of development costing an estimated $15 billion.
It will set the stage for fierce competition for big jet orders just three days before the June 17-23 Paris Airshow.
Airbus hopes its first aircraft built mainly from lightweight carbon composites will reduce U.S. rival Boeing's
Both airplanes mark the shift to a new generation of fuel-efficient, carbon-plastic jetliners designed to slash airline fuel bills, which make up about a third of the industry's costs.
The world's dominant planemakers are competing for a segment of the market that Boeing estimated on Tuesday to be worth at least $1 trillion over the coming two decades.
French transport sources said on Monday preparations had been marred by an air traffic controllers' strike that forced Airbus to delay the historic flight to Friday.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Editing by Mark John)