The manufacture of commercial aircraft is one of the rare industries that is, globally, a duopoly: between Boeing and Airbus, an American company and a European consortium. Every time an airline looks to place an order, as India’s domestic airline Vistara was reported last week to be doing for 60 planes, those are the two names that do the rounds.
In their long history of competing against each other, 2012 was a significant year, in that Boeing leapfrogged Airbus in the number of aircraft delivered. It has maintained that lead, even as Airbus has bagged more orders every year since—though customers can cancel—and has started to chip away at Boeing’s lead in deliveries.
However, a break-up of planes delivered in 2017 shows Boeing having a more diversified sales portfolio. Even as Boeing delivered slightly fewer narrow-body jets than Airbus (529 vs 558), it was miles ahead in large wide-body jets that cost about three times the former (74 vs 0); the two were evenly matched in mid-size wide-body and jumbo/superjumbo jets.
Seen since 2012, the Boeing stock has done better than Airbus, especially in 2017. How Airbus executes the backlog advantage it has accumulated (7,265 vs 5,864) will determine how this dog fight plays out in the coming years.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint
Source: Airbus and Boeing reports, Yahoo Finance
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