Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2012


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Engineering & Technology Management

Course Number

ETM 520/620


Aircraft industry, Aerospace industries, Commercial aeronautics, International competition, Boeing Aerospace Company, Airbus Industrie


The commercial aircraft industry is highly competitive. Companies who wish to compete must have significant investments, capabilities and resources. Boeing and Airbus have established themselves and currently hold a duopoly in the commercial aviation industry. This paper provides a brief overview of the history of the two companies and outlines their ongoing subsidy dispute. The Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner are the most recent and innovative aircraft launched by these companies. These aircraft models are compared on the parameters of technology, marketing and supply chain. Some of the significant technological innovations that have been discussed include composite materials, aerodynamics, fuel efficiencies, noise reductions, and safety. Both models incline toward different distribution paradigms – A380 toward hub and spoke, and 787 toward point to point. Both companies have increased their focus on global outsourcing and are establishing more risk sharing partnerships with their suppliers. However, they both encountered production delays due to supply chain issues. A SWOT analysis is done to evaluate these two companies strategically. A PEST analysis is also performed to understand which factors impact the various decisions of these companies. The scope of this paper is limited to commercial aircraft only. Although there are a wide range of commercial aircraft models that these companies manufacture, the focus of this paper is further limited to the latest models – Airbus A380 and Boeing 787.


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