All three carriers, Emirates, Qatar Airways (Qatar) and Etihad, have decided on the 777-9 as the mainstay for their long-haul needs. With the change, the question arises, will Qatar increase the buy of the A350-1000 instead of taking the 777-9 and will any of the others reconsider?
To understand what’s involved we compare the capacity and the costs of the 777-9 and A350-1000. How large is the difference? Is the A350 the better choice if the extreme long-haul capacity needs decline?
The maximum range and per seat costs of the 777-9 and A350-1000 are close when compared apples to apples.
The advantage for the 777-9 at full aircraft disappears quickly as load factors decline.
If the needed capacity of the long-haul US routes declines, the 777-9 can be too much aircraft for the Gulf carriers.