The Airbus and Boeing Rivalry

Categories: Airline Marketing, MiscellaneousPublished On: January 7th, 2021498 words15.1 min read
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Airbus and Boeing

Two of the largest companies that provide half of the commercial aircraft all over the world. They dominated the commercial aviation industry and have been competing with each other for over 20 years now.

Boeing is years ahead of Airbus. Boeing has been around since 1916, while Airbus started in 1969. But let’s talk about how Airbus became Boeing’s rival.

Boeing is an American aerospace company that manufactures commercial jet transports, defence, space and security systems and provides aftermarket support service. It’s America’s biggest manufacturing exporter. Boeing 80 was the first plane that they have built with the sole intention of being a passenger transport.

In the 1960s, European plane makers had built some highly successful jetliners like the Hawker Siddeley Trident, de Havilland Comet, Douglas DC-8, and Boeing 707 had become well-known jets for airlines around the world. It was also at that time that Boeing’s iconic aircraft, Boeing 747, was headlined.

Europeans want to compete with the American exporters and wish to have a wide-body jet of their own. So, on May 29, 1969, the French and German governments agreed to lead an association that would produce and sell the A300B airliner.

Airbus had faced many challenges in building A300. The British government pulled its support due to the massive costs associated with the Concorde program. On December 18, 1970, the Airbus Industrie was officially created.

What does Airbus do to differentiate itself from its competitions? It offered a high level of technology in all of its aircraft. They came up with innovative construction techniques like the use of lightweight composite materials.

Air France made the first order of A300. But Airbus wasn’t getting many requests for their A300 and had a hard time selling their aircraft. It all changed in 1978. Airbus handed over four A300s to Eastern Airlines for a free six-month trial, and all they had to pay is its custom interior.

Eastern Airlines CEO, Frank Borman, had six months to use the planes, and if it doesn’t reach its expectation, they can return the aircraft. At the end of six months, he ended up ordering 23 more of the planes.

However, Airbus didn’t become a global power until the arrival of the single-aisle A320, a competitor to Boeing’s 737. Air France intends to buy 25 of A320, and since then, it has been the best-selling jet in the world aside from Boeing’s 737.

In the early 1990s, Airbus decided to compete with Boeing’s jumbo jet, the Queen of the Skies—Boeing 747. They built the Airbus A380, which launched in 2007. The A380 is a double-decker aircraft and known as the world’s largest commercial airliner. Airbus expected it to be a game-changer.

Since then, they are trying to compete with each other’s launched aircraft and focusing on improving their technology, range, and efficiency from each other’s planes. But with the issue of Boeing with its B737 Max’s failure, Airbus has a better chance of getting ahead in this rivalry.

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