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Ghost airplane attends banquet for new Airbus jet

TOULOUSE, France, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Airbus presented dignitaries and media assembled for the debut of its latest model with an unexpected sight on Thursday: a white-painted $300-million A350 jetliner being prepared for delivery without an airline livery, breaking an industry taboo.

So-called white-tails are considered an alarm signal in the aerospace industry because they usually signify that they have been built without an airline in place to operate them, though in rare cases buyers can decide to paint them elsewhere.

Because of past downturns, planemakers have learned to build only what they have sold so nowadays the sight of a white plane, especially a recent model like the A350, is extremely rare.

In this case, the aircraft has been sold to one of the world's largest leasing companies, AerCap...