Airbus A380 vs. Boeing 787 Dreamliner

What's the Difference?

The Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner are two of the most advanced and popular commercial aircraft in the world. The A380 is known for its massive size and capacity, capable of carrying up to 853 passengers, while the Dreamliner is smaller, accommodating around 296 passengers. The A380 is designed for long-haul flights, offering luxurious amenities such as onboard bars and spacious cabins, while the Dreamliner focuses on fuel efficiency and passenger comfort with larger windows and quieter engines. Both aircraft incorporate advanced technology, but the Dreamliner stands out with its extensive use of lightweight composite materials, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Ultimately, the choice between the A380 and Dreamliner depends on the airline's specific needs, whether it is capacity, range, or fuel efficiency.


AttributeAirbus A380Boeing 787 Dreamliner
First Flight27 April 200515 December 2009
Introduction25 October 200726 October 2011
Passenger Capacity525 (typical)242 (2-class)
Range8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km)7,530 nautical miles (13,950 km)
Length72.72 meters (238.7 ft)56.7 meters (186 ft)
Wingspan79.75 meters (261.6 ft)60.1 meters (197 ft)
Height24.09 meters (79 ft)16.9 meters (55.6 ft)
Maximum Takeoff Weight1,235,000 kg (1,235 tons)227,930 kg (227.9 tons)
Engines4 x Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or 4 x Engine Alliance GP72002 x General Electric GEnx or 2 x Rolls-Royce Trent 1000
Cockpit Crew22

Further Detail


The Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner are two of the most iconic and advanced commercial aircraft in the world. While both aircraft are designed to transport passengers across long distances, they have distinct differences in terms of size, range, fuel efficiency, and passenger experience. In this article, we will compare the attributes of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, highlighting their unique features and advantages.

Size and Capacity

The Airbus A380 is the largest commercial aircraft in the world, with a length of 72.72 meters, a wingspan of 79.75 meters, and a height of 24.09 meters. It can accommodate up to 853 passengers in a typical three-class configuration, making it ideal for high-density routes. On the other hand, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is smaller, with a length of 56.7 meters, a wingspan of 60.1 meters, and a height of 17 meters. It has a maximum capacity of 296 passengers in a two-class configuration, providing a more spacious and comfortable experience for travelers.

Range and Fuel Efficiency

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner boasts impressive fuel efficiency, thanks to its advanced composite materials and aerodynamic design. It has a range of up to 7,530 nautical miles (13,950 kilometers), allowing airlines to operate long-haul flights with fewer fuel stops. The Dreamliner's fuel efficiency is further enhanced by its advanced engines, which consume less fuel compared to previous generation aircraft. On the other hand, the Airbus A380 has a range of approximately 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 kilometers), making it suitable for ultra-long-haul flights. However, due to its larger size and higher weight, the A380 consumes more fuel per passenger compared to the Dreamliner.

Passenger Experience

Both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner offer exceptional passenger experiences, albeit in different ways. The A380 provides a spacious and comfortable cabin, with wider seats and more headroom compared to other aircraft. It also offers various amenities, such as onboard bars, showers, and private suites in some airlines' configurations. The Dreamliner, on the other hand, focuses on enhancing passenger comfort through advanced features. It features larger windows that allow more natural light, improved cabin pressurization for reduced jet lag, and quieter engines that minimize noise levels inside the cabin.

Technological Innovations

Both aircraft incorporate cutting-edge technologies to improve performance, efficiency, and passenger comfort. The Airbus A380 introduced several innovations, including the extensive use of composite materials, advanced aerodynamics, and a fly-by-wire control system. These advancements contribute to the A380's impressive fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, on the other hand, revolutionized the industry with its extensive use of composite materials, which make up around 50% of its primary structure. This not only reduces weight but also enhances fuel efficiency and overall durability.

Market Demand and Future Prospects

While the Airbus A380 initially received significant attention and orders from airlines, its demand has decreased in recent years. The aircraft's large size and high operating costs have made it less attractive for airlines, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a decrease in air travel demand. On the other hand, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been a commercial success, with a high number of orders from airlines worldwide. Its fuel efficiency, passenger comfort, and versatility have made it a popular choice for both long-haul and medium-haul routes. As the aviation industry recovers, the Dreamliner is expected to play a crucial role in connecting passengers across the globe.


In conclusion, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner are remarkable aircraft that have redefined air travel. While the A380 offers unparalleled size and capacity, the Dreamliner excels in fuel efficiency, passenger comfort, and market demand. Both aircraft have their unique advantages and cater to different airline requirements. As the aviation industry evolves, it will be fascinating to witness how these aircraft continue to shape the future of air travel.

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