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Boeing or Airbus: Who Is The Wide-Body Champion?

August 09, 2014 | About:
Quick Pen

Quick Pen

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The lead commercial plane maker, Boeing, has set a pleasant record in the wide-body aircraft market. The company has recorded net orders of 273 aircraft in the first seven months of the year compared with archrival Airbus (EADSY), who has not had a good year with regards to net orders. The European aerospace major’s net order through July stands at negative 27 jets owing to order cancellation.

Clash of the Duo
As competition in the wide-body jet market gets tougher with every passing year, an order lead as this gives a good boost to the plane maker. Both Boeing and Airbus are in fierce battle to dominate the wide-body jet market as this is an extremely lucrative space. While Boeing is continuously promoting its 777 family of aircraft and the 787 Dreamliner series, Airbus is also upholding its A330 and the A350 aircraft, which is scheduled to enter service late this year.

Boeing launched the successor of 777, the 777X, last year in November. The company has receive solid orders for the upgraded version which are gradually converting to firm commitments. Boeing will begin production of the aircraft in 2017 and has scheduled it to enter service in 2020. However, Airbus isn’t resting on its laurels. At the Farnborough Air show that was held last month, Airbus launched the A330neo program, a facelift of its current A330 aircraft. Several airlines have shown interest in an upgraded version of A330 that would have the latest fuel efficient technology to help reduce operating cost of the aircraft. So the plane maker finally warmed up to the idea of adding new engines and launching the A330neo.

While Boeing flaunts of winning the highest net order year-to-date, Airbus brags that it has topped the American giant in terms of total orders received for all kinds of planes this year, but without adjusting for cancellations. Airbus has received orders for 980 new planes through July in comparison to Boeing that’s recorded orders for 837 planes. Before the Farnborough event, Boeing was leading in terms of order, but Airbus got blessed with massive orders at the trade event. While Boeing recorded orders worth $40 billion, Airbus made business of more than $75 billion. It bagged orders for 496 aircraft during the Air show.

However, in response to Airbus’ comment regarding its lead in terms of total orders barring cancellation, Boeing retorted saying that it leads the race in terms of net orders for all types of aircraft. The company has booked 823 orders compared with Airbus’ orders of 705 net of cancellation. Boeing was also happy to point out that out of the total orders, it banked a record order of 324 planes in the last month. Senior VP Randy Tinseth rightly said, “July turned out to be a very good month.” What actually turned in favor of the Chicago-based company is the order for 150 777X planes confirmed by Gulf carrier Emirates, which had just a month ago cancelled orders for 70 A350s that proved to be a big setback for the European giant.

Departing Thoughts
Boeing and Airbus have been very active in popularizing their wide-body product portfolio. Wide-body segment makes big bucks for aircraft maker. The duo have invested heavily in developing their long haul planes, the 787 and the A350 are classic examples of the billions of dollars that has been poured into building these planes. Understandably Boeing and Airbus have high expectations from these programs, which calls for fierce battle between them.

About the author:

Quick Pen
A seasonal writer with a Management Degree in Finance and interests in automotive, technology, telecommunication and aerospace sectors.

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