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Boeing talks up 787 passenger experience

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 17, 2016

A slide from Boeing highlighting research about passenger views of the 787 in economy. (Boeing)
A slide from Boeing highlighting research about passenger views of the 787 in economy. (Boeing)

Boeing says independent research shows its 787 Dreamliners are the “preferred” choice for economy passengers in terms of cabin space and comfort.

The results of a survey of passengers were presented during a media conference at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday with Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth and Scoot chief executive Campbell Wilson.

A slide in Tinseth’s presentation, titled “Research confirms: 787 preferred by passengers”, showed 48.2 per cent of respondents found the 787 cabin to be “very spacious”, compared with 34.5 per cent for the Airbus A380 and 17.3 per cent for the A330.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth at the joint Boeing/Scoot briefing. (Jordan Chong)
Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth Scoots it up at the at the joint Boeing/Scoot briefing. (Jordan Chong)

Similarly, the survey said 45.3 per cent said the 787 cabin was “very comfortable”, with 34.2 per cent saying the same for the A380 and 20.5 per cent for the A330.

The results will perhaps be curious for some regular travellers on 787s in economy class around the world, given the vast majority of airlines have fitted their economy cabins with nine seats per row in a 3-3-3 configuration, resulting in seats that are less than 18 inches wide.

By contrast, the bulk of A330 (2-4-2) and A380 (3-4-3) operators have 18-inch wide seats in their economy cabins.

Tinseth said the 787 had opened more than 90 new nonstop markets, with the route network of the Dreamliner comprising short-, medium- and long-haul routes.


Figures from OAG contained in Tinseth’s presentation showed there were 1,843 flights a week for flights less than 2,000nm, 1,534 flights a week between 2,000-4,000nm and 1,288 longer than 4,000nm.

Boeing has delivered 371 Dreamliners – comprising 291 of the original 787-8 and 80 of the stretched 787-9s – as at February 5.

Of those, 10 have been delivered to the Singapore Airlines (SIA) owned long-haul low-cost carrier Scoot – five 787-8 and five 787-9 – with a further 10 to come over the next few years.


Scoot flies to the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from its Singapore hub, while it also serves China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Thailand with its all-787 fleet.

India and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia were expected to join the airline’s route network later in 2016, with Scoot chief executive Campbell Wilson telling reporters on Tuesday he is hopeful of announcing which Indian cities the airline to fly to in the next month, once the regulatory process has been concluded.

In terms of current market conditions, Tinseth said the market today was “as good as we have ever seen”, with the aviation sector continuing to do well even though there are concerns about an economic slowdown in China and sluggish conditions in other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, Airbus said on Tuesday it expected Asia Pacific passenger traffic to grout by 5.6 per cent a year for the next two decades, with the airlines in the region to increase their fleet size from 5,600 today to 14,000 aircraft by 2035.

Asia Pacific airlines were expected to offer 12,810 new aircraft over the next 20 years, representing 40 per cent of total demand for 32,600 new aircraft in that period.

Of the 12,810, some 4,480 were forecast to be for twin aisle and widebody aircraft, with 8,330 to be single aisle.

“Asia Pacific will continue to experience stronger growth than any other world region as more people fly more often,” Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said.

“Airbus will be especially well placed to respond to this demand in every size category.”

Comments (25)

  • Paule


    Well, I certainly wasn’t surveyed! The A380 experience is, without doubt, the best possible long-hall flight an economy passenger can have. It’s not just about the width of the seats (that’s a given). It’s also about headspace and the “volume” and space of the aircraft you are flying in! On all three counts the A380 wins hands down!

  • Craigy


    Interesting comparison. How about the other Boeing products like the B777 for example? Were they not in the questionnaire?

  • Brett


    What a load of garbage this ‘independent’ report is. No one who has flown on these aircraft types would indicate the 787 is more comfortable and spacious. The smaller seat size on the 787 is confirmation this survey is just rigged marketing. This just goes to prove that you can proclaim pretty much anything as being true if a survey supports it, regardless of the facts.

  • Adrian P


    Not forgetting the air quality is better because of the higher humidity allowed due to carbon fibre hull.

    London – Dubai – Brunei – Melbourne, no dehydration, no headache.

  • PAT


    Ardian, please remember that A380 is compressed to 6000 ft as well. They just not advertised like Boeing did to their product. To compress an aircraft this size is a much greater chellenge and achievement. They did it without a carbon barrel.

    If you can find it, you will read decades ago they advertised a cabin altitude of 8000 ft with the same words, and told you anything lower than that is of no significant benefit. Just like what they say today about 6000ft cabin pressure.

  • Andrew


    I’ve been on the Singapore Airlines A380 and the Air New Zealand B787 a few times recently. The A380 wins hands down.

  • Mark


    I wonder how much Boeing payed for this ‘research’? It’s funny that the forums you read, the people say the exact opposite to what there ‘research’ finds.

  • davo


    Obviously no Jetstar 787 customer was surveyed, the worst aircraft experience ever!
    The A380 wins hands down!

  • Martin B


    I wonder how much of “the cabin was very spacious” response was driven from the perception of space from the larger and dimmable Windows on a 787 when compared with traditional window shades that completely block out the outside view and create the perception of being enclosed.

    Having flown in both an A330 with 8 across seating and a 787 with 9 across seating recently, I wouldn’t state that the 787 cabin was bigger or more comfortable when comparing the two. However, I did appreciate the additional 787 features.

    It would be interesting to see how the results stack up if the A350 is added to the survey.

  • Kingo


    Complete and utter hogwash. Typical Boeing hype here and probably only surveyed Boeing employees. The A330 is far more spacious and the A380 voted best plane of the year. I flew Perth – Bangkok – Perth on the 787 and Bangkok – Taiwan – Incheon – Taiwan – Bangkok on the A330 and the A330 was by far a better experience overall. 8 abreast seating layout and wider seats on the A330 far out ways the cramped 787.

  • Rodney Marinkovic


    Where is Airbus A350? Is that aircraft not comparable to B787?. Who can explain?
    Rodney, Serbia.✈

  • Marc


    2.4.2 seating is way better than 3.3.3.

  • Mark


    Don’t ever get an aisle seat on ANZ 787 economy you will get hit by every passing passenger or flight attendant for the whole flight. Extremely narrow aisles, horrid experience, much preferred the 767.

  • Geoff


    Of course this is absolute nonsense! Why do Boeing have to talk up the 787? Obvious. Because most normal souls have complained to most airlines who opt for 9 abreast seating in an aircraft designed for 8 abreast. Well done ANA and Japan Airlines who at least have adhered to the original intention.

    Tristar, DC-10 were designed around 9 abreast. A350 was also……XWB equals wider than 787.

    The King of all is the mighty A380 for comfort and space. Boeing know this and their 787 machine is deficient but is economical. Of course so is the A350. Excellent aircraft.

    Mind the spelling above some of you!!

  • Andrew


    The Jetstar 787 layout is an absolute mess, I have written to Qantas about its and Jetstar replied with a standard letter that made no mention of my issues !!!

    I’d rather fly a 747 than a Jetstar 787

    The A380 is fantastic but the experience to LA if you do it a lot is better in the 747 if you sit closer to the nose1

  • Paul Rodgers


    Dont know what Boeing are smoking, but recently flew 2 sectors same day A380 first, then 787, A380 wins hands down, 9 abreast economy on the 787 ruins the passenger experience, on what is otherwise a great Aircraft!

  • Bruce


    Where on earth did this survey come from? I recently flew KLM B787-9 from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam in economy. It is without doubt the worst flight I have experienced with very poor legroom. I found it even worse than the Etihad B777 that I have used from Sydney to Abu Dhabi in the past which has poor comfort in the 10 abreast configuration. Anyone who has flown the A380 in economy knows that it is way above the competition from a space and comfort point of view.

  • Aden O'Keefe-Buckton


    notice they didn’t compare it to a 777.


  • PAT


    Not comparing to its direct competition A350 is more starnge.

  • Craigy


    @Pat Probably because there aren’t enough aircraft flying in airline service for the survey to have any statistical relevance

  • Peter


    I suspect this ‘survey” was confined to customers of ANA & JAL who have wisely gone with 8 abreast in economy, which I believe the 787 was designed for. There is a case for LCC’s like Jetstar & Scoot to go for 9 abreast as fares are much lower but certainly not “full service” airlines. The A350 as the XtraWideBody stands for was designed for 9 abreast. Yes I agree that the A380 is by far the best economy experience.

  • Frank


    Depends entirely on how the airline configures the cabin. Jetstar 787s have the most uncomfortable cattle class configuration I have experienced on any modern aircraft on any airline, to be avoided if at all possible.

  • Wendal


    Have to agree with most here. My 787 experience was with Jetstar and it was by far one of the most uncomfortable aircraft I’ve ever flown on and I’ve had a history of sitting in the back of c130s, there was bugger all space to be honest. The A380 or 777 have both been miles ahead of the 787 in comfort and spaciousness.

  • Raymond


    Well, pretty much everyone is in consensus here regarding 9 abreast 787 comfort levels! Maybe the airlines operating 787’s configured this way should be taking notice?

    Interesting that Jetstar’s operations, including its international 787 flights, seem to be highly successful and profitable (as per Qantas Group results just released) in spite of this criticism.

  • Frances


    Says who “If not Boeing I’m not flying”?

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