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June 17, 2024
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With the forthcoming launch of the 777-9 at the Dubai Air Show next month, the battle between the A350-1000 and 777-9 will be officially on, with two very different aircraft competing for the same market.  While there is discussion of another stretch to the A350 program to provide comparable capacity to the larger 777-9, we can compare today’s aircraft and examine their relative economics based on manufacturer projections and Piano models based on preliminary specifications.
The A350-1000
The A350-1000 is the largest of 3 models in the A350 family, with 350 seats in a typical three class configuration, with an 8,400 nautical mile range.  The A350 features carbon fiber composite structure and wings, and at 53% composites will have slightly more of the aircraft made of this material than the Boeing 787-9, which is 50% composites.  It features new technology Trent XWB engines from Rolls Royce with state-of-the art fuel efficiency, advanced aerodynamics, and state of the art systems.

The 777-9X
The 777-9 is a stretched version of the current 777-300ER with a new engine and new wing, along with other enhancements, to create an updated version of the 777, which delivered its 1,000th example earlier this year.  The 777-9X will feature an aluminum alloy fuselage with a carbon fiber composite wing, and new technology GE9X engines that are derived from the GE90 and GEnx families.  The wingspan for the 777-9 will be longer than any Boeing aircraft, and will include folding wingtips to enable the aircraft to utilize current gate positions at airports, as otherwise the new model would require gates typically used for A380 operations (which are currently quite limited at congested airports.)

Comparing the Aircraft
The following table compares the two aircraft on several key statistics, based on preliminary data prior to the 777-9X launch:

The A350 cabin width is larger than the 787 and smaller than the 777X.  The result is that a typical configuration in economy would be 9 abreast at 17 inch seat width for the 787, 9 abreast at 18 inch seat width for the A350, and 10 abreast using 17 inch seat width for the 777.  While the 777 is currently offered in 9 and 10 abreast seating, recent orders have trended to 10 abreast seating as airline seek to maximize seat-mile costs.

10_28_2013_11_55_45_AMCOMPARATIVE ECONOMICS
Both manufacturers are claiming class leading economics for their airplanes, but in reality, they are very, very close.  The 777-9 holds a 16% advantage in capacity, which directly impacts seat-mile costs, but the A350-1000 will have lower trip costs than its larger competitor.  Our estimates for a 6,000NM trip, based on preliminary specifications from airframe manufacturers, our own economic modeling, and data gleaned from airlines, are as follows:

10_28_2013_11_54_53_AMWith very comparable seat-mile costs, the A350-1000 and 777-9X will be competitive, and it will come down to how many seats an airline believes it can fill.  For those that can fill 400 seats, the 777-9 looks like a good alternative, for those that prefer a lower risk, the 350 seat A350-1000 is the right airplane.

The key question, as the OEMs continue to one up each other, is whether an A350-1100 stretch will be built. The A350-1100 would be an all new technology aircraft competing with a highly modified but derivative model, and should have both lower aircraft mile costs and lower seat mile costs than the 777-9.  A stretched A350 would also help to bridge the large gap in size between A350-1000 and A380-800.

We believe the A350-1100 will become a competitive necessity for Airbus.  With the A350-1000 due for EIS in 2017, and the 777-9X due in late 2019 or 2020, there is still time for Airbus to bring out an additional model in time to check the size advantage for Boeing.  As airlines are looking to larger twins to replace 747-400 with aircraft of similar capacity, the time is right for these “super-twins” in the marketplace.

76 thoughts on “The Super Twin Battle: A350-1000 versus 777-9X

  1. I agree with you that A350-1100 may become a necessity with EIS ~ 2019/20. It could be that Airbus is delaying the announcement for various reasons :

    1. It has its hands full at the moment with the A380 ,A320 Neo and A350
    2. Airbus might be playing wait and watch and decide on a stretch depending on the response to the 9x and also after it has a smooth EIS for the A50-900 before deciding if the A350-1100 has a business case.

    There are and were similar business compulsions for an improved A330 offering after the 787 launch. However Airbus has so far resisted a NEO+Composite version for the A330s So far.

    I belive that an ideal offering from Airbus by the end of decade would be :

    (A319/A320/A321)NEO | (A300(?)/A332/A333) NEO [+ High Composite content ?] | (A359/A3510/A3511) | (A388/A389)

    Notice that A318 and the A358 are not available but the A300 in an improved avatar as well as A350-1100 and the A380-900 might be a reality.

    Ofcourse it will be interesting to see if this actually makes business sense for the Airbus Management.

    Regards

  2. 18″ vs 17″ seats – The 350-1000 for the same cost/seat mile as the 777-X9 with a much more comfortable cabin. It must be obvious to anyone who´s got the better product. Any further stretch to the 350 airframe would be a tripple7 killer. The same goes for the 787s with their 17″ seats compared to the350-series 18″ seats. I think the end customers will decide this game when they do their future bookings. A folding wing for the 777-X9 also seems very challenging. No wonder Mr. Al Baker changed his mind.

    It also seems that Airbus in general has a higher technology readiness level on their products before they enter into service.

    It´s time for Seattle to do some benchmarking!

    Ragnar Sandmark

  3. The new 777x series will have 17.5″ seat width due to internal fuselage widening at 10 abreast. Airbus is offering a 10 abreast a350 with 16.4″ wide seats. AirAsia has already taken this option (ouch!).
    The 777x will be more comfortable at 10 across which will eventually be the standard for 777x and and A350.

  4. Are you for real? The A330 is an improved A300. The A330 is already maximizing the 1968 a300 design.
    Once airlines see they can shoehorn pax at 10 across in the a350 at 16.4″ wide seats…they will follow the lead of AirAsiaX.
    At that point customers will have had enough and the 777X wil be preferred.
    Airbus bases its “better” economy on a 10 across assumption. Do the seat count math….the Airbus cheerleaders do not see this in their A350 frenzy…but the airlines understand this and do not care…16.4″ in the back of the plane does not matter …until they lose custoners. A 9 across a350 can not compete in economics with a 10 across 777x.
    And to Boeing’s credit they are adding width over the current 777 interior for a 17.5″ wide seat.
    17.5″ beats 16.4″ by a bif marfin when seat width is already so tight.
    All of this may come as a shock to Airbus fans who believe Airbus’ disengenuous call for an 18″ wide seat that they are not committed to with 16.4″ 9 across a330s and 10 across a350s.

  5. Finally an objective comparison, thank you. I think the picture makes clear the Boeing proposition hinges on the airlines/passengers accepting 10 abreast on the 777 for long flights. Look at real world 777-300ER cabin configurations and you’ll notice the 407 has nothing to do with airlines. For ANA the 777-9X means 18 extra economy seats or 7 business class over the 300ER/A3501-1000. Nothing like 57 ! http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/ANA/ANA_Boeing_777-300.php

  6. The 777-300 map does not represent the 777x cabin which will be wider so what is the point of the seatguru link? It is apples and oranges.

  7. The 777X with a new wing, a new fuselage and new engines is a complete new aircraft with an old design. Just look how well that worked for the 747-8i. Just think about the price.

    By keeping the outer diameter and making the interior wider fuselage thickness shrinks. That could lead to much more noise inside cabin.

  8. I know that AirAsiaX already ordered 25 A330-300s configured in a 392-seat layout with a 9-abreast economy. So a 10-abreast A350 is the same AirAsiaX standard. It’ll be hard for 777X even to compete with an A350 in 9-abreast but an A350 in 10-abreast is ahead.

    Boeing needs to do a lot of work on the X. Boeing can’t rise the price much for the X due to A380 with more space right above. I doubt any airline will order the folding wing tips so the 777X will be in the same terminal category as A380.

  9. Perhaps keesje wants to say, that when ANA doesn’t use the possibilities of the current 777 by dense-packing the passengers in eco, why should they do it with the 779. Thus the advantage is just the longer fuselage.

  10. MHalblaub..I hope Airbus is paying you overtime for weekends 😉

    The 747-8i vs 777x is an apples and oranges comparison. It might fly with the uninformed..but I don’t need to go into the many differences. One example is that things like stairwells to the upper deck take up space and are not efficient. Better to stretch and widen a single deck than to have a second passenger deck. Another example: the old design being worked with from the 747 was from 1968. The 777 design is fly by wire from 1995..not quite so old. Upgrading with new wings and widening creates a new aircraft.

    BTW, the A330 is still working off of a 1970 A300 design and it is being refined and sells well even now.

    Now in response to the one part of your comment that is laughable.

    Products that are lighter and not as thick can actually produce a better product using new tech. fibers etc.
    Think MP3s vs vinyl records. There are ALREADY insulating materials that are better as we speak not to mention even better by 2019 when the aircraft debuts. The fuselage of the 787 was supposed to be less than 18 feet wide inside but was widened due to better insulating materials.

    Also, the frame of the 777x is being reshaped as well to accommodate greater width. By the end of the process I would not be surprised if a full 10 inches of width is sculpted out for an 18″ wide seat.
    Pair this with quieter engines..each generation is quieter, and I don’t think noise is an issue.

    We can certainly agree that Airbus makes cheap aircraft however 😉

  11. Hans ANA will fly low density. They have 8 abreast on he 787. No 10 abreast on a 777. EK has 10 abreast already, how will they gain 57 extra seats after a 2.7 stretch of the 777-300ER. You have to be a strong believer to fall for the Boein. )j per seat efficiency comparisons.

    A330 and 777 have the same age. Stating only the 777 is brillant for upgrading and the A330 is old, well.. some cosistency would be great.

  12. keesje

    Note, I said the A330 was derived from the A300 from 1970 which is true..look it up.

    With respect to the seats abreast..I am referring to MOST airlines not some of the better carriers such as the Japanese.

    Air France, Air Canada, KLM, Emirates etc. are committed to cramming seats in the back of the plane. Those four airlines together have a bigger market share than ANA which delivers a better quality product.

    Nothing inconsistent here.

    Seat counts also have to do with pitch and numbers of premium seats as well, so seat width is one measure which contributes to seat count but not the only one. I focused on width because everyone else was obsessing about it.

    BTW, I do not like the 10 across 777..had a very poor experience on Air Canada; but the 777x I think will be more comfortable. Yet I will take a 9 across United 777 anytime over any other 777. 😉

  13. Just noted the ANA 9 across economy seat is 16.5 inches wide…so what are you moaning about….people seated or seat width? Seat width is awful in the ANA 777.
    Also, on all my a340 trips on Lufthansa the seat width was 17″.
    I also think you misread Hans statements about the a330. Age was mentioned in comparison to the 747 vis a vis the a330 being developed from the a300 a similar generarion A/C. The a330 was praised for constant improvement.
    No direct comparison was made between a330 and 777x.
    Airbus fanatics are rather sensitive.. and don’t read very carefully.

  14. I would be surprised. What would not surprise me would be airlines going to 11 seats on the -9X if and when they are actually able to put 10 eighteen inchers in.

  15. Dear Ernest,

    Could you add how the definition used for the standard seat count. I read several times that Aribus and Boeing have quite a big difference in their standards.

    Thanks!

  16. A350 with 8, no 9 – 777 with 9, or 10 maybe. “Obvious” which one is more comfortable. Does anyone actually think the manufacturer or airline really care about us? It’s about the numbers. And for the comment “customers will decide this game for future bookings”. Right. I fly from Hamburg to Newark every month, on United/Continental. Best price, best timing, best entertainment system. Do I have a choice between a 757 with these seats, or a 777 with those, or a 747 maybe? A direct flight to where and WHEN I want to go. Maybe in someones world they can chose, “oh this seat is half an inch smaller…I’m not going!” I fly very often, never occured to me the seat wasn’t comfortable for my standard size derrier. Have any of you arm-chair mathematicians ever even been on an airplane?

  17. It seems the US leads the race for the most obese. Many seat belt extensions are being requested so its not the seats that are the problem, its the fat passengers. On one flight, a very large obese person sat next to me and asked if he could raise the armrest, I replied no as I knew that when he dozed off, his excesses would ooze over into my space.

  18. This website is obviously anti-american.
    I listed the countries with the top 10 obesity levels by a 2013 UN report showing the USA as number 2 This was renoved but cheapgreeks remark against americans was left in place…though incorrect.

  19. Billy – We are not anti-anything. We allow people to share their views, regardless of whether we agree or not. The one thing we are anti is, perhaps, narrow mindedness. Challenging an opinion can be a very good thing. Making one think is an outcome to be cheered.

  20. My comment was perhaps anger over the deletion of my comment which was researched from recent UN data of the 10 most obese countries with the U.S. rated number 2 and all continents represented in the top10 wirh no correction of cheapgreeks clearly anti U.S. remark. Debate is welcome but allowing incorrect” facts” to stand and deleting researched facts is annoying.

  21. Finally! A meaningful comparison. Can anybody point me to a similar comparison that includes the A380?

  22. First of all, 99% of the people that fly don’t know what type of plane it is they’re flying on and neither do they care. They simply look out for the cheapest ticket/ best luggage allowance. The rest is a bonus. Most people understand they can’t complain if they’re paying for economy seats. Maybe airbus should have proposed first class seats at 60″ for every one to be comfortable, but no they simply choose a number 18″ that suits their argument.

  23. Well, the winner at Dubai air show was obvious. 777x with 259 orders, and a350 with…what? 50 orders? The market will choose the better one, and I think the Arabian carriers had made their choice. So face the truth, Airbus guards!

  24. It seems 777 options, purchasing rights, MOU and other commitments were mixed up with firm orders in Dubai. Not 259 but 60 or so firm orders. Some just want to be cheated if they like the result.

  25. Cabin width vs. seats per row in economy:
    707, 720, 727, 737, 757 vs 320 11′-7″ vs. 12′-2″. both six abreast. B aircraft roughly 1″ less per seat/aisle than A.
    767 15′-6″ 7 seats 2 aisles about the same as 320 per seat/aisle.
    300, 310, 330, 340, 17′-4″ 8 seats 2 aisles about the same as 320 and 767. At 9 abreast its tighter than 737.
    787 18′-0″ 9 seats 2 aisles. About .8″ narrower per seat/aisle than 8 seat 330. but with 8 abreast it is very generous.
    350 18″5″ 9 seats 2 aisles. a little tighter than a 330 but .45″ more per seat/aisle than 787. With ten abreast it is very tight.
    777 19′-3″ 9 or 10 seats 2 aisles. At nine it is .9″ more per seat/aisle than 350 at 9. At 10 it is .7″ narrower than 350 at 9.
    777x 19′-7″ 10 seats 2 aisles. At 10 seats it is .4″ narrower than 350 at 9 seats. At 9 seats 777x is very generous.
    747 1,2,3,4,8. 20′-2″ 10 seats 2 aisles. The same per seat/aisle as the 350 at 9 seats.
    380 main deck 21′-3″ 10 seats 2 aisles. About as wide per seat/aisle as a 777x at 9 seats.
    Who’s got the right spacing. Like most things, it depends on what you want. Cheap seat mile cost or more comfort with higher seat mile cost… And then of course there’s seat pitch and many other factors.

  26. First, with the 87-10 and 77-9, Boeing has no competition in the offing from the Airbus twins on either end of that class of the seating wars. Boeing goes higher and lower in 3C seats and arguably the Rev Per Seat Mile is higher from the Boeing products. Time will tell!

    Related: The 47-8 was only meant to move profitability for the 80-8 out further and force EADS(then) to spend “tons o’ euros” in development: $18.350 Bn American for the 80-8 versus $4.138 Bn American for the stretch, new wing, and engine on the 47-8. Also, the new 47-8 engine and a major portion of the wing design was largely paid for by the 87-8/9 R&D.

    Remember that when Boeing decided to bow out of the “all new jumbo” war, it said there wasnt enough potential sales for 2 full-fledge new jumbos in the foreseeable timeframe: into the 2030’s.

    Also remember the 80-8 wings were designed, for FUTURE efficiency: 80-10, with the much larger and initially wasteful wing until the -10 airframe MIGHT be needed. Very little interest for anything larger than the 80-8….Only EK has tossed it out there…unless you can bet on at least hundreds of order sureties, its not worth it.

    Boeing is leaving that alone for 10-12 yrs for Y-3 or other future program with future Over The Wing twin engines to get the 2 engine efficiency, vs 3 or 4 engine with larger engines needed for Ultra Large future frames..i.e. Sonic Cruiser update or Flying Wing, etc.etc.

    In the mid 2020’s that development will make all current designs seem not only obsolete but indeed actually antiquated. Neither Boeing or Airbus sees the need for it quite yet. Though Airbus super jumbo 80-10 is their current thought.That’s why we have 37MAX and 787 instead of the vaunted Yellowstone lines….YET. Again, this seems to again support Boeing’s Direct route direction.

    Remember EADS and Boeing had fundamentally different views of the flight paradigms. EADS Hub view and Boeing Direct view. With almost “Any Two City pairs” being within reach even with something as relatively small as the 87-8, that takes away one of the two major reasons for Hub.

    The other is cost per seat mile: loading. With fracking and other booming oil reserve opportunities taking hold, other renewable and Nuclear options gaining much greater following, and the crashing of the seemingly endless China growth, fuel costs will be a somewhat lessened issue at the very same time as much more efficient aircraft are coming online, i.e. 787/350, MAX/Neo. This seems to prove the Boeing case.

    The noise reduction, quicker elevation of the 47-8 and 80-8 lessen the public outcry against existing airport expansion. Again lessening the “must haves” of the ever bigger aircraft capacity for the time being, such as for Asian cities, etc.

    Saying the 77-10 will kill the 47-8 because of the approaching 3C capacities 407 to 467 (60 difference) would be no more valid that the 747-8 killing the 80-8, 467 to 525. (58 difference). The 50-10 probably wont kill the 77-10 350 to 407. (57).

    One last thing. I can tell you that Boeing is dubious on the exact long term expansion in Middle East/Asian countries. Terrorism seems to know no end, and that will have a progressively negative impact on westerners continuing to visit new-fangled cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi and many Islamic Indonesian area growth cities, etc. This would finish off the 380 business case. The 47-8 as well, but again Boeing purposely didnt put that much effort (read: cost) into the expansion of that aircraft. This was a major reason. Boeing has been spooked even since the 1993 WTC bombing.

    All this said, both producers as well as Embraer ERJ/E and Bombardier CRJ/C produce fine products. The future Chinese Comac products will have a hard time breaking in for 1-2 decades except in China itself.

    I’d love comment.

  27. Nope, no 350-1100. Why? The RR Trent XWB is maxed out. Airbus would have to go to GE as it would take years for RR to design, test and produce a successor to the Trent. Also the 350-1100 would need a new wing, think about the R&D costs for that. Look at the A380 with 265 units sold. Airbus will never break even on the R&D costs and warranty repairs on the wing rib cracks. Looks like the break even point is over 500 units. The 777X put the last nail in the A380 coffin as the need for a VLA class is done.

  28. The 777-9 may have done well in Dubai but remember that this airplane was essentially designed by and for those Middle East carriers. Asian carriers that need to carry masses of passengers will buy it as will some European carriers who want to compete with Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates. Given its size it will almost become a niche aircraft. The A350-1000 already has and will have a larger market share. The A350-1000 was purchased by a 12 airlines so far. The 777-9x received orders from 5 airlines. In the end, it is likely that the A350-1000 will appeal to many more airlines that the 777-9x. The 777-8x , def a niche aircraft, will also have a smaller market share.

    Airbus needs to improve/increase the range of the A350’s by 500 nm before stretching the -1000 further and see what happens.

  29. Well… the Arabian carriers aren’t really market-standard. Nobody else will own 90 A388’s anytime soon. Nobody else will order 150 777X’s ever. I’m not really convinced their orders mark the success of the 777X. The Lufthansa order might.

    In the end I’m a 777-9 fan, and a A380 fan. Not really that fond of any other Boeing or Airbus.

  30. The A350 is a great plane, but there is a huge gap between the A350 and the A380 (175 seats), and as shown at Dubai, Boeing is making a killing with the 777-9X. There is clearly huge demand for high capacity efficient twinjets. Airbus can barely sell the A380. So, either Airbus stretches the A350 again or makes an all new plane to compete with the 777X, and they will likely choose the former.

  31. I don’t agree: there are 189 orders for A350-1000 and 567 for -900 (as of 2013-12-31). Only 23% for -1000. It’s not enough for double stretch (of course in next 6-8 years). Better idea is A380Neo (less fuel and also A380-900?). Boeing has 269 orders for 777-300ER (86% of all 777 without the new 777X). So Boeing must to prepare 777-9X (2.5m longer) and 777-8X (4.5m shorter) to divide market.

  32. all these arguments on seat count and seat mile cost misses the point. airlines want to make money and a big factor is revenue cargo a airliner can haul with a full load of passengers. That’s why Emirates, etc. bought so many 777-300ERs, same goes for 777-9. The A350-1000 will be good but probably not good enough on cargo capability compared to the 777-9.

  33. qantas can’t even fill the seats on their a380s and has deferred the remaining orders. this is a niche airplane that will only work for a few airlines other than emirates. a380neo will not help if you can’t even fill it to a break even point. if airbus does a a380neo it will loss more money than it has on the program!

  34. not sure how you can compare 777-9 sales vs a350-1000 which has be on the market so much longer. the smart money would be that 777-9 sales will surpass a350 in a year or two. wait until after the singapore air show 2014…i’m willing to bet that asian carriers will place big ordrers to replace their existing 777s.

  35. 777-9 is a bigger plane with much larger capacity…i.e. passengers and cargo. under belly cargo revenue is a huge profit driver for airlines!

  36. that’s because no one else has so many 777-300ERs to replace. boeing is looking to up gauge existing 300ERs customers. so they don’t need another 150 plane order…just replacement orders from all existing customers of which their are many. lufthansa and cathay plus the three Arabian carriers already placed orders.

  37. ok i’m repeating here, it’s not all about seat counts…how much cargo you have underneath is a HUGE profit driver for carriers. so unless the a350-1000 can match the capacity of the 777-9 they are not in the same class. not one is really gonna buy a a380 if they can’t fill the seats. look at qantas…they are regretting buying the a380. a profitable airplane can command a higher price than an less profitable one. look at resale value!

  38. A380Neo is expected by Emirates. This is enough argument for Airbus. Trent XWB (or Trent 1000) will be tested for this purpose. EP is also interested in. Fabrice Bregier: “The target of reaching breakeven on the program A380 in 2015 is based on that rate (30) per year.” 182 backlog means six years of production. A380Neo should be before 2019. Before B777-9x too. Qantas isn’t a good example for A380: there are no airports in Australia in the top 20 of world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic.

  39. Let me tell you all a story.. I myself with a group of about 17 other people have been flying South East Asia a couple of times per year for 9 years now. We started with Emirates 7777 from JFK connecting in Dubai. Then our agent recommended we try Etihad from JFK connecting in Abu Dhabi. The switch was substantial. Everyone preferred the A340 2-4-2 configuration in coach and fell in love with Etihad because of that. In business and first we also liked the absence of the center overhead bins which made the cabin feel so much bigger and taller. Because of this aircraft, passengers fell in love with the Airline. It all came together. The feel of luxury service, even in coach, in a big private jet. That was the feel and the Etihad mystique. We flew this 13-15 hrs flight in A340-500’s and A340-600’s for years and loved every single one of those flights. We called it the Etihad journey!

    From Abu Dhabi to our final destinations albeit Bangkok or Dhaka, we were often cramped in these massive 777-300 ER and everybody hated it. It was cramped with lots of people doing things that people do and felt like a cramped low-cost tour operator airline. Going from the A340 to the 300- ER was like going to from the Ritz Carlton to the Double Tree. We accepted it as “it must be because it is a regional flight”.

    This past year, Etihad did a switch and now flies the 777-300ER from JFK to Abu Dhabi. Everyone complained and it was interesting hearing people say; “Etihad is not as good as it used to be”. “The service was not as good”. “It felt crowded and the bathrooms were nasty”. “They don’t come around as often anymore and they seem overworked and unfriendly”. “it feels like the regional flight”. Some did and some didn’t catch on immediately …….it was the aircraft and the larger number of passengers.

    For the following trip, people opted to fly out of Washington DC instead of JFK, just to catch that A340 flight and others switched to Turkish because it was cheaper. The same will happen for our next trip. You see where this is going? I can tell you from personal experience that this one switch made such a difference. The A340 flight made people feel the Etihad mystique and what the airline is known for. The bigger and cramped 777-300 ER completely killed it and downgraded the experience to one of that an ordinary carrier catered to the masses. In the end, it was Etihad’s name that suffered.

  40. You do realize the a340 is no longer manufactured due to the competition from the 777300er…four engines are not competitive in this size bracket.

    The different airlines configure based on their marketing approach. If you have the money you can get just about anything…

  41. Yes I do know that about the A340. Economically, they don’t make much sense anymore. My point was, however, that these mega 777′-x’s won’t necessarily translate into better service and passenger experience. Premium airlines will eventually take note. I think that this where the A350 will have an advantage. My sense is that the A350 will fly many long-haul premium routes because they will be more comfortable and less crowded. For example, the A340’s are still flying from Doha and Abu Dhabi to London and Paris even though both Qatar and Etihad have many 777-300 ER in their fleet.

  42. The A350 can fit 10 across (more snugly than the 777) some airlines are already planning this and most others will eventually fall in line…then you will wish you were on the 777

  43. folding wings are no issue….the USN has folded wings on all F18’s, etc….the F18 is a Boeing Product……in fct , they will be rather spectacular….

  44. Would be interested in knowing how you arrive at the conclusion that the Trent engine is ‘maxed out’. If Boeing can deliver the 787-10, I can see no reason why Airbus can’t do likewise with the A350, ie add 3-4 additional frames. The wing is clearly a different matter, but achievable.

  45. Lets forget about setting at this stage. – what is more important is the safety of the aircraft – once achieved then arrange seating to make it comfortable for passengers.

  46. Bottom Line – 1. What is the most safest and what has the most technology for the future to make flying safe for us all.
    2. Once this is established, then lets put pressure on the winner to give the passengers a good ride for
    their money.
    3. To achieve a true result one has to break it down into segments and then work from there. Not put
    all into one bucket and then try to work out what the best answer is. It doesn’t work.

  47. Gordon – the issue is complex. Its about trade offs with range, capex and what airlines want. The fact that ALC bought the A330neo and also bought 787-9 tells you something. There is a case of “horses for courses”. For flights under 5 hours, the A330 is very good, making the A330neo even better. All with low risk and highly predictable performance. Plus a lot cheaper than the 787.

  48. Boeing has announced a 10 abreast 777x configuration with 18″ wide seats. The A350 is 16.38″ at 10 abreast for lucky AirAsia X aircraft and other carriers to follow.

  49. Boeing has a configuration with 18″ seat width at 10 abreast on the 777X. Airbus has no advantage at all in comfort. In fact 777X will be more comfortable than A350xwb at all comparable configuratuons

  50. Actually the 777-X will be quieter than the 777 classics due to better insulating materials— and with 18″ wide seats at 10 across as comfortable as the A380.

  51. I would like to see all of them with 787 cabin pressure and air condition system, no one compares with it,after a few hours of flight you feel the difference, but anyway Boeing family flies faster and higher then Airbus.

  52. United needs to stick to a all Boeing fleet. With the exception of the 737(A320s are better),the 777s are the answer.(by to the 747s) From a maintenance standpoint.

  53. Well it seems like Boeing is concerned about seat width after all. It doesn’t matter, it will still have 10 abreast. The 9X will still feel like a massive aircraft full of cattle. Its not just the seat width, its the larger number of people coughing, talking, using the lavatories, etc. Then you have to wait and wrestle with 400 passengers through immigration, luggage retrieval etc.

    No thank you. I would rather be on an A350-1000 or even a 787.

    Its not all about the size. It’s’ about the whole package which allows for a pleasant long-haul flight. Boeing is fixated and proud at “moving the goalie line” with size, seats, etc. Absolute megalomania.

  54. Events have shown your comment above to be somewhat prescient! Now we do indeed have the 338neo and 339neo, and the 358 is all but gone (the wing is far too large for the mission required of it).

  55. But I suppose 10 across in the A380 would be just fine with you.
    BTW the sickest I ever got from a long haul trip in an aircraft was on an 8 abreast A340. Lots of sick people on the aircraft and I was sick for the next week afterwards. Look…these are all relatively narrow tubes with the same number of people per square foot. The ONLY aircraft set up to alleviate this issue is the 787 with bleed free air and hepa filter systems. These help as I have a hepa system at home and I get far fewer viruses…I am susceptible. I would wear a mask inside any aircraft if viruses concern you.
    After that….seat width is a big help and I applaud Boeing for the structural changes they are making to the 777X to allow 10 across comfort on par with the A380.

  56. A350XWB
    Aer Lingus:9
    Aeroflot:22
    Afriqiyah Airways:10
    Air Caraibes:3
    Air China:10
    Air France-KLM:25
    Air Lease Corporation:25
    AirAsia X:10
    ALAFCO:12
    Asiana Airlines:30
    Synergy Group:10
    AWAS:2
    Cathay Pacific:46
    China Airlines:14
    CIT Group:15
    Ethipian Airlines:12
    Eithad Airways:62
    Finnair:11
    Hawaiian Airlines:6
    Hong Kong Airlines:15
    IAG:26
    ILFC:20
    Japan Airlines:31
    Kuwait Airways:10
    Libyan Airlines:6
    Lufthansa:25
    Qatar Airways:80
    Scandinavian Airlines:8
    Singapore Ailines:70
    SriLankan Airlines:4
    TAM Airlines:27
    TAP Portugal:12
    Thai Airways:4
    Undisclosed:1
    United Airlines:35
    US Airways:22
    Vietnam Airlines:10
    Yamenia:10

    Total:750

    B777X
    Lufthansa: 20
    Etihad: 25
    Cathay Pacific: 21
    Emirates: 150
    Qatar: 50
    All Nippon Airways: 20
    Total: 286

  57. Actually, the a350 has 778 orders by 41 customers, including long-time Boeing customers like United and British Airways.

  58. What about 700 people for the a380 at immigration or 700 people coughing on board, using the toilets, talking etc
    So your point of view Airbus just in it for the money and just want to stuff people in their plane.

    You are just a person who doesn’t like Boeing aircraft.

    700 vs 400

    Planes are made to make you feel like you are in a normal environment. So if you have problems on planes ,it is all planes not only the 777

    Stop saying it’s a problem with the 777

    P.s you weren’t comparing you were talking about the aircraft in general

  59. The A350-1000 is doomed to failure because the RR-XWB-97 engine is failure and Airbus be lucky if Qatar accepts93,000 pound of thrust instead of the promised 97,000 pound of thrust. Roll Royce stated the engine has reached the end of the road for tweaking more power from it. This means no stretch for A350-1000 and that means no A350-1100. So the only plane Airbus will sell is it’s limited 350 passenger A350-900. Boeing’s 787-10 and Boeing 777-9X and 777-8X has Airbus trapped. The A350-900 is a failure and it’s to late because Boeing has captured and cornered the market while Airbus has painted itself into the corner. The A350-1000 with 93,000 pounds of thrust cannot touch the 410 passenger 777-9X and the 365 passenger 777-8X. In addition Airbus is using an outdated 30 year old engine core with a tendency to leak and have uncontained explosions. One has to ask how come Airbus uses outdated engines on their newest plane. Answer because their cheap, cheap!

  60. Major Airlines like BA, Qatar, SQ, Cathay, JAL, KLM, etc. wouldn’t fitted their A350 with 10 abreast configuration. If they needed bigger plane, they would just order B777-9X because they operated older B777. Have you seen any major airlines fitted their A330 with 9 abreast seat apart from LCC?

  61. I highly doubt it will come in underpowered. The original design spec was for 93,000 lb of trust but that was changed early on.

    The market has certainly shifted though and there’s no question that both the 777-8x and 9x will be 10-abreast in economy. That means a stretched A350-1100 will go up against an 8x 10-abreast. The A350-1000 will go up against a 777-8x 9-abreast. The 777-9x will strip some market from the A380 but moreso from it’s own 747-8i’s.

    Nothing will compete with the 777-9x for the time being.

    Re: orders. Youre mistaken.

    Obviously, the A350-900 is selling like hot cakes and there are currently 181 orders for the A350-1000.

  62. Even if the Trent engine is maxed out it makes very little difference to Boeing the 787-10 will just become powered exclusively by the GEnx engines they did it on the 777-300/er/200lr with the GE90

  63. Ref. Allen comments.

    All seems to makes perfect sense, possibly from an American, Boeing perspective.

    Could you clarify the comment ” quicker elevation” of the 747-8 and the A380-8 lessen the public outcry.

    It would be nice to see future advanced airframes arriving, blended body, flying wings etc. However the cost of developing a tried and tested tube and wing design seems so high it’s a rare occurance. To go into new territory with
    exotic designs still seems a way off. Passenger evacuation certification seems to be an area that is problematic, I’m sure that there are many more.

    It seems to me that initially the way forward will be higher aspect ratio wings and open rotors for propulsion, if fuel costs increases in the long term. So not very exciting and longer flights.

    If we develop low cost future fuel, I.E. low enviromental impact fuel, then things might be fun. Sonic cruiser etc. etc.

    Talking of cabin size, pax payload for some reason the 747 size seems to be a sweet spot, now the new big twins are close to filling this gap.

    Is there room for a twin with cabin width same or just above the 747? I feel Airbus missed a trick with the A350, should they have matched the 747 cabin width?

  64. Are you kidding me? The RR XWB-97 clearly surpasses its competition. This has been proved with the recent tests and EIS with Airbus. Also 30 year old engine? That would be RB211 or Trent 700 at the most. The XWB is a far superior upgraded engine and trust me, its not cheap. GE9x looks promising and will probably deliver well in PIP3 or PIP2 but has current issues with turbine blade degradation.

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