The recent challenges around safety concerns and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in American aircraft manufacturer Boeing losing ground to European rival Airbus.
Although both companies control a significant market share, Airbus has extended its dominance over the last five years.
By the end of 2021, Airbus had delivered 1,376 aircraft under all categories from the start of the pandemic in January 2020, according to data compiled by Finbold. The units almost tripled the cumulative 466 deliveries by Boeing over the same period.
Over the last five years, Airbus has had an upper hand delivering 3,757 aircraft, with Boeing trailing at 2,415. Interestingly, in 2017 and 2018, Boeing recorded a total of 1,569 deliveries which was higher than Airbus’ 1,518
For specific aircraft, Boeing registered the highest deliveries for the controversial 737 MAX brand with 245 units, despite safety concerns. On the other side of the Atlantic, A320neo was the leading model for Airbus with 258 units.
The report highlights some of the drivers behind Airbus’ extended dominance over Boeing in recent years.
“Although Boeing and Airbus are historical competitors, the European manufacturer gained the upper hand during the health crisis, capitalising on the global grounding and delivery pause of Boeing’s 737 MAX. Despite the 737 MAX resuming circulation, Boeing was unable to catch up,” explained Justinas Baltrusaitis, Finbold analyst and author of the report.
In general, the two manufacturers took a hit from the pandemic and recorded suppressed orders as the airline industry was grounded globally.
However, they still command a significant share of orders thanks to their historic market position and they will likely explore means to expand their market position.