Collision Course in Commercial Aircraft: Boeing-Airbus-McDonnell Douglas

Essay by ammyUniversity, Bachelor's May 2006

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This is a case about three different companies dedicated to the manufacturing of aircrafts. Those three major companies are: Boeing, Airbus Industry and McDonnell Douglas; each of one was struggling to produce enough aircraft to satisfy a seemingly unquenchable need for passenger and freight transport around the world, developed in this form many kinds of aircrafts in different models and styles.

Airbus is a consortium of European aircraft manufacturers formed in 1970; Boeing Company was founded in 1916 as the world's largest private commercial aircraft manufacturer in the USA; and finally McDonnell Douglas, considered the third major manufacturer, began operations since 1920 working essentially for the US government, manufacturing military aircrafts.

Problems began when each company was looking for take advantages from new and different forms to finance its operations. For decades accusations of unfair trade practices had led the United States and the European community to the brink of trade war in commercial aircraft.

In addition to this situation the booming demand at the end of the 1980s seemed to signal a respite in the fight between companies and countries on both sides of the Atlantic. Each manufacturer felt that he has to win each competition, and he has to win all the demand, nevertheless demand in this industry was cyclical and the risk of an eventual slowdown in orders existed.

In the past most non US carriers had been small, government owned airlines, which tended to place small orders, however some European and Asian carriers were approaching the size and scope of US mega carriers, so the battle began and they were placing huge orders too.

All the situation mentioned above brought about serious problems in issues like pricing competition, government intervention and international collaborations, all in order to be more competitive in front of one another. So...