Boeing and Airbus Debut New Planes For First Time

The maiden flights for both the Boeing 787-10 and the Airbus A319neo were carried out Friday, March 31. The two airplanes are the newest members of the 787 family for Boeing and the A320neo family for Airbus.

The Boeing 787-10 took off for the first time from the company's North Charleston, South Carolina, facility just after 9:30 a.m. for a four-hour test flight.

Boeing and Airbus Boeing

Earlier in the day, the Airbus A319neo also made its maiden test flight from the company's factory in Hamburg, Germany, to its headquarters in Toulouse, France.

The two aircraft manufacturers both cite efficiency as their primary reason for building the new planes, but these two jets take radically different approaches. The 787-10 is the longest of the 787 family, holding 40 more passengers or 15 percent more cargo than the 787-9, while the A319neo is the smallest jet in the A320neo family and relies on the new CFM International LEAP-1A engines to achieve efficient flight.

Boeing and Airbus Airbus A319neo

"I want to say thanks to the team," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said on a webcast of the flight. "This is a big, big milestone for us and our customers."

Boeing has taken 149 orders for the aircraft, which has a list price of $312.8 million. The 787-10's largest customers are Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines — each has 30 on order.

With a range of 7,400 miles, the 787-10 is designed to make ultra-long-haul flights while delivering 25% better fuel economy than other airliners its size. The plane, which was unveiled in February in a ceremony featuring President Donald Trump, has been touted as a possible replacement for older versions of Boeing's game-changing 777-200ER.

Airbus has 55 orders for the $99.5 million jet. Its largest customers are Frontier Airlines and Colombia's Avianca.

With a new long-haul airliner from Boeing and a new narrow-body jet from Airbus, these two aviation giants continue to duke it out for control of the skies.