You’ve got to hand it to The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). If there’s one thing it does, it builds lots of planes — even if they don’t always work right or come in on budget. One of Boeing’s latest ventures involves an attempt to stay ahead of rival EADS Airbus‘ A350-1000, the largest version of Europe’s newest plane.
Right now, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has the market cornered when it comes to “mini-jumbos,” thanks to the 777, a twin-engine plane capable of going distances similar to that of a four-engine plane. More importantly, the 777 is Boeing’s most lucrative plane, according to analysts. To make sure it stays that way, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is planning on rolling out a few upgrades; the 777-9X and the 777-8X. But will these planes prove profitable? Or will Airbus come out on top?
777 vs. A350
When it comes to comparing the new 777X’s with the A350-1000, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. The 777X’s will have a metal fuselage with carbon fiber wings, which, according to The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), will increase performance but maintain reliability. The A350-1000, on the other hand, will mainly be carbon fiber. Airbus argues that this makes the plane lighter, and cheaper to operate.
Further, the 777-9X is expected to hold roughly 400 passengers, while the A350-1000 holds 350 passengers. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) claims that the ability to carry 400 passengers will increase airline revenue and that the 777X will have “significantly lower operating costs.” But Airbus argues that because of its smaller size, the 350-seater A350-1000 plane is the one that will produce more revenue, as it’s cheaper to run.
Finally, both The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Airbus make mini-jumbo, long distance planes, although there’s not as much demand for them. Still, with the ability to fly 9,500 nautical miles, Boeing expects the 777-8X to replace its 777-200 LR and fill this niche market. That’s in comparison with Airbus’ A340-500 that’s capable of 9,000 nautical miles.