7 replies


Member since 19 Sep 2015

Total posts 11

A350 vs B787


Member since 19 Sep 2015

Total posts 11

Hey guys, I was wondering how airlines chose the A350 over the B787 or vice versa. I can't find a difference between the two (for airlines) and they both claim to be better than the other. Other than cost through negotiations, what would make an airline choose one over the other?


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

In terms of technology I would trust the A350 more than 787. For the following reasons:

  • Airbus has more of a track record working with composites. This is Boeing first foray into a mainly composite aircraft.
  • The Airbus manufacturing and supply chain for aircraft components and parts is finely tuned as part of its pan-european business model. Boeing has had to developed theirs for the 787 across multiple global manufacturers.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 15 Aug 2012

Total posts 67

Great question, many factors. One major factor is who can deliver sooner, the 787 got a lot of orders being first to market so when the a350 came to market slots opened up straight away.

but price, performance, business case dynamics all factors different from airline to airline.



Member since 12 Dec 2012

Total posts 295

That's the main reason why AA split their large narrow body order across Boeing and Airbus a few years ago when they ordered 460 aircraft with another 465 options/rights. They had to split it across the 737 and A320 family because neither Boeing or Airbus could meet the time requirements.

5 years on from the order, they have 31 A321, 28 737-8 and 100 each of 321neo and 737-8MAX to come.

Jedinak K

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Sep 2012

Total posts 105

I would also argue that the A350 is a replacement for the Boeing 777-200/ER/300 series so airlines which still operate the B777 would find a cost efficient replacement.

The Boeing 787 seems to be a replacement for the B767 however it is also quite a novel aircraft as it is able to provide good economics for long haul travel with minimal passenger payload.

There are other factors like Charles mentioned such as economics, slot availability and market conditions. 


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Aug 2014

Total posts 186

Aside from the factors mentioned above, other factors are commonality throughout the fleet and maintenance. Ryanair operates the Boeing 737-800 as its only plane which helps to lower maintenance cost, increase safety, increase pilot and passenger commonality and save money by ordering in bulk. I know Ryanair is an LCC but these factors also apply for FSCs where sticking with one manufacturer can help in all of the mentioned aspects above.


Member since 19 Sep 2015

Total posts 11

Thanks for the answers! I always assumed it was pretty random between the A350 and B787, which isn't very helpful at all in explaining why one might have more orders than the other from an airline.

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