Case 10.1 Boeing & Airbus
1. The overall strategy for Boeing seems to be focused more on customization and efficiency rather than size. With the focus of the 787 Dreamliner being that of long range with smaller passenger capacity, Boeing is anticipating that more direct routes to international cities will be developed rather than the typical hub and spoke routes which currently dominate the airline industry. Airbus’ overall strategy is focused more on the hub and spoke routes as well as improving efficiency. The A380 has utilized new materials in both airframe and wing compositions which have not been seen in Boeing’s products. The A380 also relies heavily on travel between concentrated hubs of passengers to ensure capacity is not underutilized. Airbus does seem to be playing a bit of catch-up in announcing the A350 for a 2012 release as it is positioned to compete directly with the 787 from Boeing. The ways in which both strategies are different would be the focus of Airbus on centralized hub and spoke routes for airlines (major city to major city) and creating larger aircraft to support their strategy, as compared to the decentralized connectivity to international destinations (smaller cities connected to smaller cities) which Boeing believes to be the coming evolution of air travel. The similarities in both strategies focus around efficiency and range. Almost the entirety of both new product developments for both companies have seen significant increases in flying distance in comparison to previous models. Also, with the rising cost of fuel, the efficiency of design and materials has been become more important. Airbus has developed its product line in response to the strengths and weaknesses shown by Boeing. An example would be the A320 family which was introduced 20 years following the 727/737 models from Boeing. All models involve smaller capacities and ranges which would suit regional and national travel....
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