PARIS - The world's biggest air show takes to the skies Monday, with a battle between Boeing (IW 500/16) and Airbus for orders in the lucrative market for wide-body planes set to dominate the Paris event.

Airbus managed to steal a march on its American rival before the show - at Le Bourget just north of Paris - with a successful maiden flight of its new A350 long-haul plane.

Airbus is pinning its hopes on the fuel-efficient A350 to compete in the long-haul sector after gradually winning more than half of the market for medium-haul, single-aisle planes that carry an average of 150 passengers.

The A350 is expected to conduct a fly-by of the air show towards the end of the week, hoping to woo potential customers.

During the show, famous for high-profile announcements of big-money deals, Airbus hopes to add a slew of orders for the plane - set for delivery at the end of 2014 - to confirmed contracts with Qatar Airways, British Airways and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific.

Nevertheless, Boeing is also entering the show in bullish mood as it seeks to move on from its difficulties with the trouble-prone 787 Dreamliner.

Technical problems with overheating batteries forced the worldwide grounding of the Dreamliner fleet in a major setback for the Seattle-based manufacturer.

Boeing will showcase the Dreamliner at the event and the firm is expected to announce the launch of its 787-10X, a longer version of the original Dreamliner, which can accommodate up to 330 passengers.