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Boeing versus Airbus : the inside story of the greatest international competition in business
by John Newhouse

John Newhouse’s Boeing Versus Airbus introduced me to the fascinating and dangerous world of air industry: the inside story of the greatest international competition in business. As America’s most succesful and admired corporation from inception, Boeing aircrafts dominated the commercial airplane market until the European startup Airbus entered the game in 1980s. Since then, it has grabbed half of the market share. This is not a happy ending, however, as Airbus “suffered from mismanagement and had adopted the kind of complacent, risk-averse culture that had once characterized Boeing”. Despite serious setbacks Boeing has dealt with in recent years, its technologically revolutionary 787, together with advanced versions of 737, 777 and 747, will pose the most serious challenge to Airbus’s long-term prosperity and even the survival of the company. Entangled with the problems of the super-jumbo A380, Airbus lacks both financial and engineering resources to come up with its version of the next generation wide-body point-to-point jetliner to compete head-to-head against the Boeing 787. So far, its proposed A350 still remains a “paper plane”. Boeing might be poised to beat Airbus and regain market dominance. Nevertheless, airlines want to see more competition between the two to bring down prices, and Airbus has definitely demonstrated its ability and potential to make superb aircraft. Also, new problems have arisen for both giants: potential competition from Asian aircraft makers. So the fascinating story in the ‘turbulent sky’ continues…

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Submitted by pseritra on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 10:14am.
This is more than business. The two companies build their planes based on quite entirely different engineering principles too.