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Boeing Co.’s experience developing the composite-plastic Dreamliner has helped the planemaker attain a five-year advantage over Airbus SAS in twin-aisle jets, Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said.

The lighter-weight material will be deployed on the wings of the 777X, an upgrade of Boeing’s biggest twin-engine model, which the company began marketing this year. Chicago-based Boeing is betting that the plane, which will also have more- efficient engines, will cement its lead in the market for wide- body jets typically used on long-haul routes.

Airbus doesn’t “have an airframe that can compete with the 777X,” McNerney said today at an investor conference. “They don’t have the appetite to do a ground-up airplane, and they’d have to do a ground-up airplane.”

Boeing, which is targeting a commercial debut for the 777X near the end of the decade, doesn’t yet have board approval to start production. The largest version of Airbus’s competing A350, the -1000, is scheduled for delivery in 2017.

Boeing climbed 0.2 percent to $98.93 at 9:31 a.m. after a previous gain of 31 percent this year. The stock still trades at a 21 percent discount to Airbus parent European, Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.

Editors: James Langford and John Lear.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Langford in New York at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at

Tags: airbus, Boeing