Airbus looks at the long term not the Boeing short term financials and cheap way of doing business
Airbus broke down the advantages of the A350-1000 compared to the 777X series, making some interesting points. In terms of airport compatibility, the A350-1000 has the same ground handling as A350-900, same ICAO category and ground maneuverability as the 777-300ER, which is crucial when it comes to gate availability. The A350-1000 is the same size as the 777-300ER, but that does not mean it has the same seat count.
The 777-300ER has five doors, but the -1000 has four doors. “Because we have four doors, and they have five doors, the -1000 will have more seats,” said Pendaries. This allows for one additional row on the 350 as opposed to the 777-300ER, but keeps the same footprint. “To compete with the A350-1000, 777-9X has fall out of its airport box. To avoid falling outside the airport box, our competitor is studying wingtip fold, but Airbus is looking at simplicity,” added Pendaries.
“Why does Boeing go so far? They need to stretch the 777 to be able to compete. We don’t believe they do it for specific market needs, but we believe they need it to do so to compete against the -1000. We do not believe that the 7779x will be in a position to reduce its maximum takeoff weight. The -900 will deliver in 2014 what the 777-9x will deliver in 2020.”
Didier Evrard, EVP- Head of A350 XWB Programme, Airbus, provided some updates on the achievements and flight test campaign of the A350 XWB. So far, the A350 has performed more than 75 flights with 370+ flight hours logged. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a really long lasting race. You need to make sure that the whole chain is strong enough to deliver this new phase,” said Evrard.