Airbus threatens new competition from China

Tom Enders is leaving, Guillaume Faury is coming: The new Airbus boss is facing major challenges, but he is taking over a solid business. Whether Airbus can benefit from the current problems at Boeing, is uncertain - and on the horizon appears already a new competitor.

The company that Guillaume Faury will lead in the future, is currently on solid footing, because the record of his predecessor Tom Enders is on the whole good. In the past year, the aircraft manufacturer implemented almost 64 billion euros and made a profit jump to more than three billion euros.

The order backlog even reached a sector record with 7,577 commercial aircraft, deliveries were also at a record level with 800 aircraft, even though Boeing slightly outperformed 806 jets. However, Airbus was able to increase deliveries by 80 machines compared to the previous year, while Boeing only recorded a plus of 40.

But there are dark sides. This includes, on the one hand, the expensive entrepreneurial wrong decision to use the A380 high-capacity aircraft. Also, the investigation against Airbus on suspicion of fraud, bribery and corruption in business of the civil aviation sector burden. The exit is still completely open.Nevertheless, the momentum in the competition against US competitor Boeing seems to speak for the moment for Airbus, as Boeing has slid into a deep crisis after the crashes of the type 737 MAX machines.

Klaus-Heiner Röhl, aviation expert at the Institute of German Business (IW), believes that confidence in the US market leader is dwindling. Röhl sees Airbus in the short- and medium-range machines at an advantage over its competitors. “The modernization of the Airbus A320 family was pushed earlier than that of Boeing’s counterpart.”

Also, the A320neo has sold better than the Boeing 737 MAX. Röhl does not consider it unlikely that airlines will now switch to Airbus. According to Airbus, the A320 family, with more than 14,600 aircraft ordered and 8,600 delivered, is the world’s most successful single-aisle model.Röhl could be right: Indonesia’s state-owned airline Garuda wants to cancel an order for 49 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with a list price of more than four billion euros. The Indonesian low-cost airline Lion Air, which belongs to one of the crashed jets, should consider switching to Airbus according to media reports.

However, Boeing does not really have to worry. The global demand for smaller passenger aircraft is gigantic in view of the ever increasing air traffic - it can not be covered by a provider. There is no alternative for a mass change, say the industry experts of Berenberg Bank.

The capacities of Airbus for the production of the A320 are busy for years, thus to expert of the analysis house FlightGlobal determines. In most cases, the airline remains with the Boeing model, especially since a model change is therefore a complete replacement of infrastructure connected.

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