Airbus versus Boeing: Innovation & Market

The global aerospace market is worth more than over nine trillion US dollars, with main markets in United States, France, Germany, and the UK. This industry’s largest aerospace and defense manufacturers are Boeing and Airbus. For almost a century, the pioneering companies that make-up Boeing have been at the forefront of innovation in aviation. Boeing enjoyed monopoly in aviation until Airbus was born was 1970. The Airbus-Boeing competition is marked as duopoly in the large jet airliner market since 1990s.


This study is commissioned to examine the global market, innovation, & patent filing trends by Airbus and Boeing in the last five years i.e., since 2017 till March 2022.


The annual aircraft deliveries by both Airbus and Boeing in FY2021 show a rise by 7.9% and 116.6% respectively from FY2020. Though, Airbus is the winner in terms of number of aircraft orders and deliveries in FY2021. There is also a rise in consolidated revenue in FY 2021 from previous year for both Airbus and Boeing by approx. 4% and 7% respectively. However, there is a slight dip in R&D expenditure in 2021 by approximately 4% and 9% respectively for Airbus and Boeing maybe due to COVID-19 crisis. In FY2021, for Airbus, revenue mainly poured in from Europe followed by Asia-Pacific regions; and for Boeing, its major customers were from North America followed by Europe. The world airliner census data for FY2021 represents that there are a greater number of operational aircrafts by Boeing than that for Airbus. Boeing accounted for 8,907,948 flights during the year, whereas Airbus edged slightly ahead with 9,401,161 flights scheduled for the year 2021. While Airbus is the overall winner in this category, Boeing was behind far more widebody flights with 1,103,294 flights compared to 645,220 with Airbus aircraft.


In terms of patent filing trend, Boeing is the winner with 14,994 applications (and 5,228 patent families) filed whereas Airbus has filed 11,440 applications (and 3,713 patent families) between January 2017, and April 2022. The filed patents have been categorized into 60 technological domains related to aerospace. The number of inventors for Boeing is more than double the number for Airbus. The number of withdrawn applications is higher in case of Airbus as compared to Boeing. The number of rejections during prosecution is also higher for Airbus as compared to Boeing.


Finally, in terms of design, safety, and passenger experience, Airbus and Boeing have their own advantages and challenges. The report discusses some of the aspects based on which a comparison has been made.


Read the complete report here:

Airbus vs Boeing - Innovation & Market
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