After more than three long years of delays, the Dreamliner now becomes reality. And despite the first batch of aircraft will be overweight (one heard many different numbers) and the two competing engines obviously are in terms of SFC not where they should be, we can expect there now is an aircraft available that will bring economics never seen before.
The first international route ANA will fly with the B787 is Tokyo-Frankfurt.
There are two other airlines flying this route also:
- Lufthansa with the A380. Both ANA and LH are members of the Star Alliance and have a joint venture for routes between Europe and Japan. Nevertheless it will be interesting to see how the B787 compares to the A380 on a per-seat basis.
- Japan Airlines with the B777-300ER. JAL is member of oneworld, thus a real competitior.
ANA is offering "only" 158 seats - but 46 or 29% of them are business class seats, 112 seats are in the economy class with 8 seats across, a spacious layout as most carriers opted for a 9 seat layout. Seat comfort thus is considerably better than in the A330/A340, where the 8 seats in economy class are in a cross section that is 7.5" narrower.
|All Nippon Airways B787-8 Cabin Layout (Image coutesy ANA)|
|Japan Airlines B777-300ER Cabin Layout (Inage courtesy seatguru.com)|
Now it is common sense that larger aircraft are more economical on a per-seat basis than smaller ones. In that sense a fuel burn comparison per seat between the 787-8, the 777-300ER and the A380 does not really make sense. But as you can see at the end of this article, we can still see how advanced the B787 is.
I used the openly available PIANO-X for the B787-8. I used the batch2 adjustments with the increased MTOW, as I think that maybe not the first but the majority of the aircraft will have that "standard" or will be better than that.
For the B777-300ER and the A380 I used PIANO 4.1, which I have access to.
At first glance, the results do not look good for the B787-8. Given here is the fuel burn/seat over seats.
|Fuel burn/seat for Tokyo-Haneda (5068nm)|
|Fuel burn/seat vs. premium seat ratio|
The picture gets clearer if we compare fuel burn/seat for B787 layouts that would be comparable to the layouts of the JAL B777-300ER and the LH A380, i.e. having the same ratio of premium seats.
So I took out business class row and threw in economy class rows and came up with the following picture:
|Fuel burn/seat for differenct premium seat ratios|
And what about the closest competitor in terms of aircraft size - the A330-200.
For the same route it would burn about 790lbs/seat when filled with 158 passengers. This is 19% more than the B787-8. And if we look how Boeing is able to improve their aircraft once they are in service, I guess we can call the B787-8 the "A330-200 killer". Boeing just has to deliver the aircraft as fs as they can...