Qatar Airways’ receipt of the first A350-1000—a stretched version of the in-service A350-900—marks the entry into a critical sales period for the program, given Airbus’ ambitions against the Boeing 777. As Boeing is developing the 777-8X and -9X, Airbus predicts greater potential for improvement, thanks to the A350’s relative youth. The A350-1000’s market positioning is a big gamble. Designed as a 777-300ER killer, the 366-seat aircraft has indeed won ...

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