by Felix Richter, Statista.com
The intense rivalry between Airbus and Boeing has escalated significantly following the recent first flight of the former’s state of the art A350 XWB. This aircraft is the first in a series of highly-efficient and long range passenger planes intended to compete with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
The 787 is selling well, despite a recent spate of battery fires that resulted in its grounding. As of mid-2013, Boeing has a total of 890 787 orders, with 57 already delivered to customers around the world.
The A350 has endured a difficult gestation period. Airbus have focused extensively on the colossal A380 over the past decade, and demand for a smaller and more efficient aircraft did not immediately attract attention. A re-engined variant of the popular A330 did not sit well with customers, prompting the company to develop a completely new aircraft.
The Paris Airshow will take place at Le Bourget this week and represents the biggest aerospace event of the year. It should prove pivotal for both Boeing and Airbus, and the 787 and A350 in particular. Indeed, Airbus will be confident of securing major orders on its home ground, and extending an A350 order list of 613 aircraft.
Boeing is expected to counter strongly and are rumoured to be displaying not one but two 787s. Will the A350 put in an appearance? Even though Airbus have claimed the brand new aircraft is too busy to attend the event due to an intensive test flight schedule, industry analysts are remaining hopeful that it will conduct a flyby. It is set to be an interesting and lucrative week for both companies, and one which may narrow the competitive gap between the A350 and 787.
The following chart provides an overview of Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 orders and deliveries by year.