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28 December 2014
A350-1000 is the competitor for current 777. But neither A350-1000 nor A350-1100 are able to compete against 777-9X.
In this article, it is concluded that Airbus failed in predicting or anticipating future competitors on the market. “They came up with the Airbus A350 XWB, which is a perfect competitor for the current 777 but cannot compete with the Boeing 777X. The Airbus A350 is too small to compete with the upcoming Boeing counterparts. This might mean that Boeing will be leading the lucrative medium-wide-body sector.”
A first comparison between A350-1000 and 777X concluded that when the Airbus A350-1000 will enter service in 2017 it will probably be the most efficient aircraft in the skies. Boeing's reply to the Airbus A350-1000 came in the form of the Boeing 777X –that is the better and more efficient aircraft- and Airbus does not seem to have an answer to that.
In order to compete with the Boeing 777X, Airbus might decide to launch the A350-1100, a stretch of the Airbus A350-1000. But based on payload and range data, it is stated that this A350-1100 will not be able to efficiently compete with 777X. Airlines will favour 777-9X over Airbus A350-1000.
What a stretch of the Airbus A350-1000 means is higher capacity, lower range and added structural weight. The addition of structural weight (for the added frames and sizing needed for the wings) as well as increase in payload will considerably decrease the range of a possible Airbus A350-1100. So a stretched version only is able to compete with the Boeing 777-9X in terms of capacity, but will lack the range capability of the Boeing 777-9X. To place a significantly more efficient engine on the Airbus A350 to increase the range could be a possibility.
Order numbers also show that the Boeing 777X is favored over the Airbus A350-1000; few airlines are buying the Boeing 777-8X (43 orders) that will be the ultra-long range leader, but airlines are favoring the Boeing 777-9X (243 orders) that has higher capacity over the Airbus A350-1000 (169 orders).
The Airbus A350-1000 has not received any orders in a year now. And since the launch of the Boeing 777X, Airbus only received 3 orders for the Airbus A350-1000.
Based on the article “Why Boeing Does Not Need To Worry About A Possible Airbus A350-1100” published in Seeking Alpha