787 vs. A350


The Boeing 787 was rolled out in July 2007 at Boeing’s Everett factory, near Seattle. The first aircraft was delivered to ANA in 2011, over three years late. There were three variants originally announced, the 787-3. 787-8, and the 787-9. Boeing later announced the 787-10.

The Airbus A350 was originally envisioned as a successor to the A330, with the same cross section and improved engines, aerodynamics, and systems along with a tweaks to the rest of the aircraft. The most notable was that the A350 was to be the first Airbus aircraft built with composite materials. Airbus announced the A350-900 and the A350-1000 at the 2006 Farnborough airshow after agreeing to a new clean sheet design and called the new aircraft the A350 XWB (extra wide body).

when responding to the thread, please use these and only these names to allow a common understanding of this discussion

767-300 = 763

777-200ER = 77E
777-300ER = 77W
777-8 = 778

787-3 = 783
787-8 = 788
787-9 = 789
787-10 = 78J

A350-900 = A359
A350-900 ULR = A359 ULR
A350-1000 = A35K
A350-1100 = A35L*

LH = Long Haul
ULH = Ultra Long Haul

J = Business
W = Premium Economy
Y+ = Economy Plus, Comfort, Extra, ect.
Y = Economy

787 vs. A350

Here is why the 787 is in essence, not an A350 competitor. Let’s take United Airlines for example. Their 763 in their most dense (Polaris Low J, 0 W, High Y) which will be the standard configuration after Polaris refits, besides the 8 or so frames going to the low density config (Polaris High J, High W, High Y+, Low Y). Those aircraft hold 214 passengers. The 788 config for United, albeit with more Y+, holds 219 passengers, a difference of only 5 passengers.
The 788 is a shrink of the 789, and the 789 is not a stretch of the 788. The 788 can not fly as far although being smaller with the same fuel tanks/engines since it has a lower MTOW due to not as much structural support. This saves money when building the aircraft as it is not super economical to fly the 788 on ULH flights. The A350-800 was supposed to compete with this aircraft, however it was scrapped after a lack of orders.
Key Idea: The 788 is positioned as a smaller wide body to replace the 763 that can also fly to Asia.

The 789 is the longest range 787. It is also the most popular variant. The 789 has a max seating capacity of 406 seats and a max exit row config of 420 seats. I could not find a easily accessible max seating capacity for the A359, but the max exit row config is 440 seats. However, I can assure you that the A359 is bigger than the 789. The A359 is a well positioned 77E replacement, the 789 is just not big enough to maintain capacity.

The A359 can carry a payload farther. However, the 789 can carry the same payload about 10% more efficiently.

Key Idea: The A359 is a great 77E replacement, while the 789 is a great if you need less capacity, or if you just want a plane smaller than the 772.

The A35K is a huge plane designed to compete with the 77W. It has a great niche in the market, as it is simply put a better plane than the 77W.

Key Idea: until the 778 rolls around, the A35K is a great competitor to the 77W.

The 78J also has it’s own niche. It has a short range compared to the other Boeing’s/Airbii (yes, that is how I make an Airbus plural)

CASM is Cost per Available Seat Mile. The 78J’s CASM is out of this world incredibly amazing. This is a great aircraft for TATL ops. If this aircraft is used properly, it will be a big moneymaker.

Key Idea: 78J is a great aircraft, and not a competitor to the A35K since it really efficient on ~8-10 hour flights, however, it cannot operate from US-Asia economically. That is an A35K strength, it can fly farther and is slightly bigger than the 78J

Mixed Fleets

The best modern wide body fleet for an airline is a mix of 787 and A350. They compliment each other, the aircraft are competitors and that is ok. A fleet will work really well together with a mix of both.


I watched a documentary, it said that the 789s are poorly built, and Boeing workers say they would never get on a 789. In 2013, two 789s caught fire in less than two weeks, which caused the 789 fleet to be grounded by the FAA. Is that true?


This might start a fight over planes :/ well just have to find out.

Yes, it was due to faulty batteries, but has since been fixed. No one has died on a 787, no one has been hurt because of a 787.


I know there have been topics like this before that have been closed for that reason, we will see if a mod closes this one…


Looks like this thread is allowed as it’s comparing/contrasting (atleast, that’s what it looks like). That being said, refrain from starting useless arguments about which is better. Utilize the PM function for that. Feel free to post productive content comparing the two. Cheers :)


That doesn’t make too much sense…
why would the people making the aircraft say they wouldn’t want to ride on it? If they thought it wasn’t safe, they would be the only ones to fix it.

Now about the topic:
Yes, I definitely agree, the 787 doesn’t seem to be as good for ultra-long-haul routes as the A350, but its efficiency is quite good for anything shorter.

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  1. You’re stating statistics which is good, however, some numbers seem a bit… “interesting”. Where is this statistic coming from?
  1. Not entirely sure what you mean here:
  1. Also, any stats on this claim:
  1. What do you mean “really” efficient? More efficient? By how much? Any statistics?
  1. Also here, what do you mean by bigger? With higher capacity?
  1. You also contradict yourself. At the start, you say:

… and at the end you say this:

Just to make it clear, I’m not trying in any way to “bash” your thread, I just want the facts to be stated so a civilized discussion can occur.


Pretty sure he is talking about that the 787 and A350 can fly for the same amount of length in nautical miles but the 787-9 saves up 10% more fuel by flying the same length as the A350 does.


I agree with you, I do not really see a point in this thread, and the info is somewhat faulty.


Oh dear, please not another playground to fight the old Airbus vs Boeing argument 🙈


That’s the other way round-the 788 was the base model:
Keeping the same wingspan as the 787-8, the 787-9 is a lengthened and strengthened variant with a 20 feet (6.1 m) longer fuselage and a 54,500 pounds (24,700 kg) higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW), seating 280 passengers in a typical three-class arrangement over a 7,635 nautical miles (8,786 mi; 14,140 km) range.

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Wording was a little bit confusing, so I’ll clarify. I’ll get the 78Js CASM later but it is great for 8-10 hour flights. A35K carries more and is efficient on longer flights. For example LHR-JFK is much more efficient on a 78J than an A35K. They are both great airplanes, just built for different things.

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Well, I hope this topic won’t cause fights…
Anyway, both planes are amazing, but, personality, I rather the A350. Not saying the 787 is crappy, not saying that the 787 is worse than the A350, just giving my personal opinion. Both are groundbreaking (not literally 😂 #DadJokes) and very sucessful aircraft that are bringing the future of aviation closer to the present!

Wait a sec, I thought the Boeing 787-10 was called 78X, not 78J…???

Or am I thinking wrong? 🤨

But where is the evidence for that? What do you have to back that up?

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Boeing ended up developing 788 as a shrink of 789. The whole package is optimized for the 789. 788 is still a great airplane.

The 78J has a smaller range. It is a lighter aircraft. Boeing says it should have large CASM advantage over A35K which makes sense. There CASM calculations are generally accurate and they have been honest with us. (748 CASM way worse than A380 CASM)

It depends on who you ask.

It’s both. 78X is the ICAO code and 78J is the IATA code