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Boeing's Gamble on 787 Pays Off as Orders Outpace Airbus A380

The smaller Dreamliner is outdoing the jumbo double-decker

In the late 1990s, Airbus SE and Boeing Co. squabbled very publicly over whether burgeoning demand and a growing global middle class would favor ultra-large jets serving massive hub airports or smaller wide-body planes tapping a greater number of direct routes. Two decades on and the results appear to be in: Airbus’s 550-seat A380 superjumbo has sold just five units in two years while Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, carrying 240 to 330 people, is still accumulating orders and swelling production lines. Airbus said last week that output of its double-decker will be cut to only eight aircraft a year from 2019.

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