Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787 Dreamliner, both are two of the most advanced and efficient long-haul aircraft in the world today. Both aircraft are the result of years of engineering, design, and innovation by two of the biggest names in the aerospace industry. They are often compared due to their similarities in range, capacity, and fuel efficiency, but they also have their own unique features and capabilities. Let’s dive into a simple comparison of these two remarkable aircraft.

Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787

The Airbus A350-1000 vs Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner are two of the most advanced long-haul aircraft in the world, each boasting impressive features tailored to efficiency, comfort, and performance. The A350-1000 is slightly longer than the 787-10, with a length of 73.79 meters compared to the Dreamliner’s 68.3 meters. This difference in size allows the A350-1000 to typically seat between 350 to 410 passengers in a three-class configuration, whereas the 787-10 seats around 300 to 330 passengers, making the Airbus model a better option for airlines looking to maximize passenger capacity. Check out our comparison of the Cessna 175 vs 172 to see how they differ.

Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787
Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787

In terms of range, the A350-1000 outstrips the 787-10 significantly, capable of flying up to 16,112 kilometers compared to the Dreamliner’s 11,910 kilometers, making it the preferred choice for longer international routes. The A350-1000 also has a higher maximum take-off weight, allowing it to carry more cargo or fuel, which contributes to its longer range.

Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787-10

However, both aircraft are designed with efficiency in mind. The 787-10 boasts advanced aerodynamics and materials, including carbon composite wings and fuselage, making it highly fuel-efficient, especially for medium to long-haul routes.

While the Airbus A350-1000 offers greater capacity and range, making it ideal for very long-haul and high-capacity routes, the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner’s design focuses on efficiency and flexibility, making it a compelling choice for airlines operating a variety of long-distance flights with fewer passengers. Both aircraft represent the pinnacle of modern aeronautical engineering, each with its own strengths catering to different airline needs.

Airbus A350 XWB

The Airbus A350-1000 stands out as a trailblazer in the world of large widebody aircraft, offering an unparalleled blend of efficiency, comfort, and performance for long-haul flights. Accommodating between 350 to 410 passengers in a standard three-class layout, it not only promises ample space but also elevates the flying experience with 40% more area dedicated to premium-category seating. This aircraft excels in versatility, efficiently covering both short and ultra-long-range operations up to 8,700 nautical miles. Its capability shines on routes connecting emerging markets as well as traditional ones, making it possible to fly from Shanghai to Boston or Paris to Santiago with ease.

Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A350 XWB

The A350-1000 is not just about getting from point A to B; it’s about how you feel during the journey. Airbus has reimagined cabin interiors with its new-generation Airspace™ cabin, focusing on comfort, service, ambience, and design. It boasts the quietest twin-aisle cabin in the skies, with wider seats and elegant LED ambient lighting that not only enhances the aesthetic but also helps minimize jet lag. The in-flight experience is top-notch, with on-demand movies, Wi-Fi connectivity, and more, ensuring passengers are entertained and connected throughout their flight.

At the heart of the A350-1000’s efficiency is its advanced airframe, constructed with carbon-fibre reinforced plastic and other cutting-edge materials. Powered by the world’s most efficient large aero-engine, the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 turbofans, this aircraft sets a new standard by consuming 25% less fuel than its closest competitors. This not only translates to significant cost savings for airlines but also reduces the environmental impact, highlighting Airbus’ commitment to innovation and sustainability. The A350-1000 truly redefines what it means to fly, offering a glimpse into the future of air travel.

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner represents a leap forward in aviation technology, embodying the perfect blend of efficiency and comfort for both airlines and passengers. Known for its industry-leading technology, the 787-10 is the largest member of the Dreamliner family, designed to carry up to 336 passengers in a typical two-class seating arrangement. What sets the 787-10 apart is its exceptional fuel efficiency and range flexibility, which allow airlines to open new routes and optimize their fleets more profitably. This aircraft has been dubbed the “Dreamliner effect,” revolutionizing the air travel experience by offering unparalleled levels of comfort.

Boeing 787-10
Boeing 787-10

Passengers aboard the 787-10 can look forward to an experience unlike any other in the skies, thanks to features like lower cabin altitude, better humidity levels, and cleaner air, all of which contribute to reduced fatigue and jet lag. Additionally, the smoother ride technology and improved temperature control make for a more pleasant journey. The cabin’s visionary design, with large windows and spacious interiors, not only enhances the sense of well-being but also provides a more open and airy atmosphere, making long-haul flights feel shorter.

The Dreamliner’s benefits extend beyond passenger experience to include lower operating costs for airlines, thanks to its exceptional fuel efficiency, low maintenance costs, and mixed-fleet flying capability. The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner is not just an aircraft; it’s a transformative experience that redefines what it means to fly, making it a favorite among airlines and travelers alike for its coAirbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787mfort, efficiency, and innovative design.

Design Philosophy

  • Airbus A350 XWB: The A350 XWB is designed with an emphasis on extra width, providing more space for passengers and cargo. It features a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) fuselage and wings, which contribute to its lightweight and fuel efficiency. The A350’s design prioritizes not only efficiency but also passenger comfort, with a wider cabin that allows for more seating flexibility and larger overhead bins.
  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner: The Dreamliner focuses on revolutionary materials and systems integration, featuring an airframe composed largely of composite materials. This design choice makes the 787 lighter and more fuel-efficient. Its innovative electrical systems replace traditional pneumatic ones, reducing maintenance requirements and improving operational efficiency.

Passenger Experience

  • Cabin Width: The A350 XWB offers a wider cabin than the 787, translating to wider seats and aisles for passengers. This difference is particularly noticeable in economy class, where the extra inches contribute to passenger comfort on long-haul flights.
  • Window Size: The 787 boasts larger windows than the A350, allowing more natural light into the cabin and providing passengers with better views. The Dreamliner also features electronically dimmable windows, eliminating the need for window shades and giving passengers more control over their lighting environment.

Performance and Efficiency

  • Range and Capacity: While both aircraft are designed for efficiency on long-haul routes, they differ in range and capacity. The A350 XWB family, especially with its -900ULR variant, can fly slightly longer routes than the 787 family. However, the Boeing 787’s variants, particularly the 787-9 and 787-10, are optimized for different market segments, with the 787-10 focusing on carrying a higher number of passengers over shorter distances than the A350-1000.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Both aircraft offer significant improvements in fuel efficiency over previous generation aircraft. The 787’s use of composite materials and advanced aerodynamics was groundbreaking at its launch, offering exceptional fuel savings. The A350 XWB counters with its own aerodynamic design and use of lightweight materials, making it equally competitive in terms of fuel efficiency.

Market Positioning

  • Airbus A350 XWB: Targeted at replacing older widebody aircraft and competing directly with Boeing’s offerings, the A350 serves a wide range of markets from high-density shorter routes to ultra-long-haul flights. Its variants allow airlines to customize their fleets based on specific route demands.
  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner: The 787 was introduced as a game-changer for the industry, allowing airlines to open new long-haul routes that were not previously economically viable. Its smaller size compared to the A350 makes it ideal for opening secondary long-haul markets with lower passenger demand.


In conclusion, both the Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787 Dreamliner represent the pinnacle of modern commercial aviation technology, with each aircraft offering unique advantages. The A350 XWB excels with its slightly wider cabin and range capabilities, making it perfect for airlines looking to maximize passenger comfort and payload on very long flights. The 787 Dreamliner, with its revolutionary passenger comfort features and range flexibility, allows airlines to offer a superior experience on a wide range of routes. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on specific airline requirements, but both aircraft have significantly changed the landscape of long-haul travel, making it more efficient and comfortable than ever before.


What are the main differences between the Airbus A350 XWB vs Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

The main differences lie in their design, capacity, range, and fuel efficiency. The A350 XWB typically offers a wider cabin and greater capacity, while the 787 Dreamliner is celebrated for its revolutionary composite structure and fuel efficiency.

Which aircraft is more fuel-efficient?

Both aircraft are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, but the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a slight edge due to its extensive use of composite materials, making it lighter.

Which plane has a longer range, the A350 XWB vs 787 Dreamliner?

The range varies among different models of each aircraft. However, the Airbus A350 XWB’s variants, especially the A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range), can cover longer distances than the Boeing 787’s variants.

Which aircraft is better for airlines looking to maximize capacity?

The Airbus A350 XWB generally has a higher passenger capacity, making it the better choice for airlines looking to carry more passengers on long-haul flights.

Which aircraft offers better environmental performance?

Both the Airbus A350 XWB and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner provide improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to previous generation aircraft. Their environmental performance is quite similar, reflecting the aviation industry’s focus on sustainability.

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