Combined Boeing and Airbus own about 50% of the airliner market worldwide. This rivalry is as old and competitive as Pepsi and Coke.
The Start of Airbus:
Back in the day, there used to be more competition. You used to hear the names of McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, and even Convair. All these competitors were American aviation companies. With America dominating the aviation industry Europe felt the need to fight back. In 1967 German, British, and French governments decided to team up to build up their name in the field of aviation technology; together they came up with Airbus.
Europe at the time was well-known for making great jetliners. Trying to get ahead in the industry, Airbus decided to ride on the coattails of the well-made construction of their jetliners. Some of those jets include the Hawker Siddeley Trident and Sud Aviation Caravelle. Between Britain and France, they teamed up to build the Concorde jetliner. However, the strength of the American’s airliner industry was too strong, and Concorde ended up being a flop. Through many challenges of trying to find a gap in the industry they eventually created their A300s model. Heavily marketing their advanced and lightweight technology for the cockpit.
The A300 model was slowly starting to make sales; however, they were still unable to get into the US market. Airbus had to think fast. Their big breakthrough happened with Eastern Airlines. Airbus offered them a free six-month trial with 4 of their A300’s. At the end of the six months, Eastern Airlines was sold and bought 23 more of Airbus A300’s. By getting into the US market, Airbus finally became a real competitor for Boeing. Even though Airbus is relatively young in comparison to Boeing they have slowly become Boeing biggest rival.