Falling Behind Boeing: Airbus A350 No Match for Dreamliner
For a long time, Airbus didn't take Boeing's 787 "Dreamliner" project seriously. Now, with the American model selling much better than Airbus's planes, the company is being forced to react. Unfortunately, the company doesnt have the time, money or manpower to create a competing jet.
A look at the order books suggests that Airbus's A350, Europe's answer to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is a day late and a euro short.
One year ago, Noel Forgeard was still flying high. When asked to comment on the announcement of chief rival Boeing's plans to introduce the long-haul, super-efficient 787 Dreamliner jet, the Airbus chief responded: "We don't need to react to the presentation of this plane."
Now, it's starting to look as though the 787 could lead to a changing of the guards in the aviation industry. Airbus has surpassed Boeing in the number of aircraft orders it gets each year since 2001. In deliveries, it has beaten Boeing every year since 2003. And for a long time, it looked as though Boeing had no plan to stop the juggernaut of its European rival.
Info Graphic: Transatlantic Competitors
A Handful of Dilemmas for Airbus
Part I -- Internal Squabbling: Airbus's Leadership Problem
Part III -- Trans-Atlantic Trade War: Airbus's WTO Problem
Part IV -- Costly Delays: Airbus's A380 Problem
Part V -- Currency Fluctuation: Airbus's Dollar Problem
Prior to the Qatar order, Airbus had said it would delay the official launch of the A350 program until September. Analysts believe the delay is a further signal that airlines have rejected the design of the aircraft and are demanding that Airbus make improvements.
Boeing executives are dreaming of a bright future again with the success of the 787 Dreamliner.
Stay informed with our free news services:
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2005
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH
Corriere della Sera
MORE FROM SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL
German PoliticsMerkel's Moves: Power Struggles in Berlin
World War IITruth and Reconciliation: Why the War Still Haunts Europe
EnergyGreen Power: The Future of Energy
European UnionUnited Europe: A Continental Project
Climate ChangeGlobal Warming: Curbing Carbon Before It's Too Late