|Quoting Slarty (Reply 121):|
This is one thing I can't comprehend ... by most accounts the 787 is substantially superior to the A350 (due to composites), and yet it comes out about 2 years earlier ... why would Airbus commit to an already-known weak performer?
"Totally superior" is rather a misnomer. True the 787 will have a more advanced structure (though the A380 and A350 will use a good deal of GLARE composites in their structures) and the GE NX
Trent 1000/1700 engines going on the A350 will be traditional "bleed air" versions, where on the 787 they will be "bleedless" and therefore more efficient.
Yet if you are an existing Airbus A330/A340 operator, the A358 and A359 should be more then compelling enough to consider.
The A359 is barely longer and not as wide as the 772ER, so I am not quite sure how they plan to fit as many people in it. I guess they could go to 17" wide seats and tighten the pitch, but... And the 772ER will have slightly more range and a bit higher cargo payload capacity.
The 787 will offer a wider cabin, so 19" wide seats should (hopefully) be the norm. I appreciate the extra inch (18 vs. 17") the Airbus narrowbodies offer over the 737/757, so I can expect many passengers will like the extra 1-2" the 787 will offer over the A330/A340/A350.
I do see the A358 and A359 putting the hurt on the A340 more then the 772ER. The 772ER already enjoys a 6:4 sales margin and I expect A340 operators to look into the A350 for better fuel savings and lower maintenance costs/better dispatch reliability.
The Middle East (and Airbus) better hope for a huge influx of passengers, since between EK
they are putting an incredible amount of capacity into the market - scores each of the A380, 773ER, 772LR, and A350 - in addition to their existing 777, A330, and A340 fleets. That is a lot of people who need to visit DXB