Airbus and Boeing are both offering two aircraft families for the bulk of the long-haul market, the A330 and the A350 as well as the 777 and the 787. One interesting aspect of the competition is that Airbus is building an all-new aircraft for the larger-capacity segment of that market, while Boeing has decided to initially focus its innovation on the smaller-capacity end of it.
But the new initiatives —the 787-10, the A350-900 regional and even the A330-300 regional— are all targeted at around the 300-seat segment, the main difference being in weight and range.
We revealed earlier that Boeing is planning a lighter weight 777-8, reducing the planned 9,400nm range to 8,500nm to more closely match the A350-900’s weight and specification. While the 777-8 “Lite” has substantially longer range and weight than the “A350-900R,” the concepts bring airplanes to the market that are more closely aligned with airline realities than with maximum performance.
Airbus views the competitive line up thusly:
• A330-200 vs 787-8
• A330-300 vs 787-9
• A350-900 vs 787-10
Because Airbus is focused on the A350-900 at this point, the spokesman said he has no information about offering a Regional aircraft for the A350-800 and -1000 sub-types.
The spokesman says the economics shape up this way:
• The economics of the A330-200 at standard max MTOW is 4% lower than 788 per trip;
• The A330-300 has 6.5% DOC vs 789; and
• The A350-900 has 4% COC per trip vs 781.
Note the distinction between Direct Operating Costs (DOC) and Cash Operating Costs (COC) Airbus claims.
Airbus is emphasizing the greater passenger seat comfort in coach in its airplanes vs the narrower 787: 18 inches vs 17 inches in nine abreast.
Based on the article “Full Circle” published in Aviation Week.