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News of the potential further stretch of the A350-1000 have seen pretty much all journalists discuss the "high performance characteristics" of the competing Boeing 777-9 with Middle Eastern airlines. For example:

[...] the new Airbus jet would target airlines that need high-capacity, long-range aircraft but not necessarily require the same high-performance characteristics that have made the 777-9 so popular with Middle Eastern airlines. (The Gulf region can be hard on an airliner.)

What exactly are these? Why is the 777-9 suited to them and the A350 not?

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The gulf region is very hot, something that can reduce aircraft performance. The 777-9 is better able to cope with that (due to the higher thrust from the engines and larger wing area).

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree in principle with the take-off performance consideration. I would propose to refine the second part of the answer ( higher thrust from the engines and larger wing area) -> higher $T/W$ (maybe(probably), we don't know Airbus values yet). Another aspect that influences take-off performance is $L \over D$ of the flapped configuration and $Cl_{max}$ $\endgroup$ – GHB Mar 9 '16 at 23:51
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for the "higher thrust" and "larger wing area" for the 777-9? The 777-9 is a bigger plane overall than the A350-1000 (according to Wikipedia, its MTOW is 14% higher, and has 9% more thrust). $\endgroup$ – Lightsider Mar 11 '16 at 9:57

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