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Airbus vs Boeing

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Airbus vs Boeing

story by: Tom Ricketts

It’s big news these days when airlines place orders for the latest and greatest planes on the market, and they certainly love to boast about them too. But what really is all the fuss about?

Airbus A380
These behemoths are all about one thing: size. The A380 is the largest commercial passenger airplane ever built, a whopping 40% bigger than the beloved 747. The planes typically seat 525 people in a three class format, but if the plane was entirely economy class, up to 853 people could be squeezed in. This especially appeals to airlines flying into congested airports such as London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York, where land­ing slots are few and far between.

For passengers, the aircraft means for a much more stable and smoother flying expe­rience. This following point could arguably be a bad thing, but when you hurtle down the runway on take off, on an A380 you can barely feel the pull. And it’s not because they’re slow. In fact, they’re one of the fast­est passenger aircraft around and can fly at speeds of 900 kilometres per hour. But to really get the full benefits of flying these aircraft, you need to be seated at the front of the plane. Passengers shelling out the dollars are treated to features such as a walk-up bar fully equipped with bar stools, chatty bar men, and a full range of drinks. And then there are the suites. These are pretty much a hotel room in the sky. Your suite comes with a double bed, an ensuite toilet, and even shower facilities. Remember when you thought having a personal seatback screen was a luxury?!

Who has them?*

  • Qantas (12)
  • Qatar Airways (6)
  • Emirates (75)
  • Singapore Airlines (19)
  • Korean Air (10)
  • Malaysia Airlines (6)
  • Thai Airways (6)
  • China Southern (5)

Where do they fly?*
Emirates from Auckland to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and then on to Dubai

Singapore Airlines from Auckland to Singapore (seasonal)



Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The Dreamliners have three main selling features. Firstly, they’re 20% lighter on fuel, saving the airlines big bucks, and getting rid of those pesky fuel surcharges. Then there’s the fact that the plane is almost 50% metal and 50% plastic. This makes them lighter, and again, cheaper to fly. But it’s the passen­ger experience that really matters to you and I. Japanese airline ANA, who have 46 of the planes, surveyed passengers on a Tokyo to Frankfurt flight and found that expectations were surpassed for 90% of passengers. Features that exceeded expecta­tions included air quality and cabin pressure (90% of passengers), cabin ambiance (92%), higher cabin humidity levels (80%), head­room (40%) and larger than usual windows (90%). So what that all basically means is that passengers arrive at their destination feeling more refreshed and ready to go. And just to emphasise that point even further, a further 25% of those passengers even went as far as saying they would go out of their way to fly on the 787 again.


Where do they fly?*

  • Air New Zealand from Auckland to Honolulu, Nadi, Perth, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Buenos Aires (seasonal)
  • Air New Zealand from Christchurch to Perth (seasonal)
  • American Airlines from Auckland to Los Angeles (from June)
  • China Southern from Auckland to Guangzhou
  • China Southern from Christchurch to Guangzhou
  • LAN from Auckland to Santiago
  • United Airlines from Auckland to San Francisco (from July)

Who has them?*

  • Air New Zealand (6)
  • United Airlines (28)
  • Qatar Airways (27)
  • American Airlines (15)
  • LATAM Airlines (15)
  • Jetstar (11)
  • China Southern (10)
  • Korean Air (1) 
*Airlines and routes flying to New Zealand.

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