Two major projects, two aircraft manufacturing giants and enormous delays. It will take a long time until Airbus can turn a profit on its super jumbo, if Airbus manages to break even. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner seems to be both, a remarkable engineering achievement – as it is mostly made of carbon-fiber composites – and a commercial success. It got nearly 900 orders whereas Airbus has taken less than 200 orders for the A380. However, Boeing is facing the same problem as Airbus did, they can’t manage to deliver on time and they needed to delay the release of the Dreamliner several times. As a result, both Boeing and Airbus suffer from huge financial losses. Airbus also suffers from the weak dollar which makes the A380 even more expensive, because it is produced in the Euro zone.
It seems that Airbus and Boeing can afford these mistakes that occurred, because together they control the aircraft market and demand for airplanes is rising steadily. They both rely on China’s strong demand for aircrafts in the future and they are sure that both planes – the A380 and the 787 – will be a success, though they represent different estimates how air travel will develop. The A380 is made for linking hub airports around the globe and transporting a large number of passengers. Boeing estimates that future demand will be for non-stop connections, especially between minor airports that are more suitable for business travelers. Probably the market is big enough for both planes to succeed.
But one thing Airbus and Boeing should consider is that it is not for sure that the share of the market will remain as it is today. The airplane market of hope and growth will be China. It would really be surprising if there weren’t any Chinese companies which intend to tap into the need of their home country. The ACAC consortium presented the first passenger jet which was developed and will be produced by China. The ARJ21 might replace the established regional jets in China and the stretched version is likely to become a rival of Airbus’ A320 and Boeing’s 737.