787 vs. A350

What's the Difference?

The Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 are two of the most advanced and fuel-efficient commercial aircraft in the world. Both planes are designed to offer enhanced passenger comfort and reduced operating costs for airlines. The 787 Dreamliner, introduced by Boeing in 2011, features a lightweight composite structure, larger windows, and improved cabin pressurization, resulting in a more comfortable flying experience. On the other hand, the Airbus A350, launched in 2013, boasts a similar composite structure, larger windows, and advanced aerodynamics, providing better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. While the 787 has a slightly longer range, the A350 offers a larger seating capacity. Ultimately, the choice between the two aircraft depends on the specific needs and preferences of airlines.


Photo by Alex MacFaul on Unsplash
First FlightDecember 15, 2009June 14, 2013
Passenger Capacity242-335300-440
Range6,430-8,000 nmi8,000-8,700 nmi
Wingspan60.17 m64.75 m
Length56.7 m66.8 m
Height16.9 m17.1 m
Maximum Takeoff Weight227,930-254,011 kg268,000-308,000 kg
Cockpit Crew22
EnginesRolls-Royce Trent 1000, General Electric GEnx, or Pratt & Whitney PW4000Rolls-Royce Trent XWB or General Electric GEnx
Photo by Josh Methven on Unsplash

Further Detail


The Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 are two of the most advanced and popular commercial aircraft in the world. Both planes offer cutting-edge technology, fuel efficiency, and passenger comfort. In this article, we will compare the attributes of these two aircraft, exploring their design, performance, cabin features, and more.

Design and Construction

When it comes to design, the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 have distinct approaches. The 787 features a fuselage made primarily of composite materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, which makes it lighter and more fuel-efficient. On the other hand, the A350 incorporates a significant amount of composite materials but also includes a traditional aluminum fuselage.

Both aircraft have swept wings, but the A350 has a slightly higher aspect ratio, which improves aerodynamic efficiency. Additionally, the A350 has a longer fuselage compared to the 787, allowing it to carry more passengers in a typical configuration.

Furthermore, the 787 has larger windows that provide passengers with stunning views and a greater sense of space. The A350, on the other hand, features larger overhead storage bins, offering more convenience for passengers to stow their belongings.

Performance and Efficiency

When it comes to performance, the 787 and A350 are both impressive aircraft. The 787 utilizes advanced engines, such as the General Electric GEnx or Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, which provide excellent fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Similarly, the A350 employs engines like the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB or the Pratt & Whitney PW-XWB, offering similar fuel efficiency benefits.

Both planes are designed to operate long-haul routes efficiently, but the A350 has a slightly longer range, allowing it to reach more distant destinations. However, the 787 has a higher maximum takeoff weight, enabling it to carry more cargo or additional fuel for extended range operations.

Moreover, the 787 boasts impressive fuel burn per seat figures, making it one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft in the industry. The A350, while also highly efficient, may have a slight disadvantage in this aspect due to its larger size and capacity.

Cabin Features and Passenger Comfort

Both the 787 and A350 prioritize passenger comfort, offering state-of-the-art cabin features. The 787 features larger windows that allow more natural light into the cabin, reducing jet lag and creating a more pleasant flying experience. Additionally, the 787's cabin is pressurized at a lower altitude, resulting in a more comfortable environment for passengers.

The A350, on the other hand, boasts advanced cabin air systems that provide better air quality and humidity levels, enhancing passenger well-being during long flights. The A350 also offers quieter cabins, thanks to its advanced noise reduction technology.

Furthermore, both aircraft have spacious cabins with wider seats and improved overhead storage. However, the A350's wider fuselage allows for more flexibility in seat configurations, providing airlines with the option to offer wider seats or additional aisles.

Both planes also offer the latest in-flight entertainment systems, with large high-definition screens and a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and games to keep passengers entertained throughout their journey.

Operational Flexibility

When it comes to operational flexibility, the 787 and A350 have their own advantages. The 787's lighter weight and smaller size make it suitable for operating in airports with shorter runways or limited infrastructure. This allows airlines to serve a wider range of destinations, including smaller regional airports.

On the other hand, the A350's larger size and capacity make it ideal for high-demand routes and airports with larger passenger volumes. Its longer range also enables airlines to operate non-stop flights on intercontinental routes, eliminating the need for layovers.

Additionally, the A350's common type rating with other Airbus aircraft, such as the A330, allows airlines to train pilots more efficiently and interchangeably, reducing costs and increasing operational flexibility.


In conclusion, both the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 are exceptional aircraft that offer remarkable attributes in terms of design, performance, passenger comfort, and operational flexibility. The 787's lightweight construction, fuel efficiency, and larger windows provide a unique flying experience, while the A350's larger size, longer range, and advanced cabin features make it a preferred choice for airlines operating on high-demand routes. Ultimately, the choice between the two aircraft depends on an airline's specific needs and priorities.

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