How does The Boeing Company manufacture aircraft

Aircraft builder: Why Airbus is flying away from rival Boeing

Calhoun therefore wants to take countermeasures in good time. The number of Dreamliners produced each month in the plants in Everett and Charleston is to be reduced from the current 14 to twelve machines by the end of the year. In addition, Boeing announced on Wednesday that it would further reduce production to ten copies in early 2021. This is tricky for Boeing, because as long as the Max remains parked, the Dreamliner is the most important source of income in the civil division of the group.

Above all, however, the difficulties with the Dreamliner point to a fundamental and very serious problem facing Boeing, which Calhoun urgently needs to solve: the group lacks innovations. “Boeing is the pursuer, not the lead. Airbus has taken the lead, ”stated Scott Hamilton from the specialist information service Leeham News.

The evidence for this statement: The aged 737 was only "pimped up" to the Max because Airbus pushed ahead with the modernization of its short and medium-haul A320 family. After more and more airlines - including traditional Boeing customers - ordered the “Neo” from Airbus, Boeing also decided to modernize the 737.

This was done hastily and with massive errors in the software control. That in turn led to the crash of two brand new planes and disaster. Boeing had already started work on a 737 successor. But management postponed the final decision again and again until Airbus gave a first step.

Airbus has the more modern device on offer

Not quite as dramatic, but it was similar with the Boeing 777 long-haul aircraft. For many years it was a model of success and a guarantee of profit. To secure this status, Boeing planned a successor, but wanted to wait until the Max was successfully launched on the market. Once again Airbus stepped in between and announced the modern A350–1000 - with better efficiency values ​​than the older Boeing 777–300ER. The new 777 – X, with which Boeing can respond to its rival Airbus, made its maiden flight just a few days ago.

The whole thing was repeated from 2012, again on the subject of long haul. A completely new jet was needed for the so-called mid-market segment. These are long-haul connections from decentralized airports where the extremely large aircraft such as the 747 or the A380 cannot be filled.

Once again, the management could not bring itself to a decision. Airbus took advantage of this. They pimped the A320 with additional tanks for long distances. The A321 LR and XLR are now bestsellers. The result: Airbus currently has the more modern device on offer in civil aviation.

There were two main reasons for the hesitation at Boeing: On the one hand, the Dreamliner program caused major problems. The market launch was massively delayed, the costs rose enormously. The Boeing management wanted to clear this hurdle before starting the development of a new aircraft. On the other hand, the Boeing leaders wanted to keep investors happy and preferred to invest the funds in dividends and share buybacks.

Boeing has now put both of these on the defensive. Calhoun not only has to direct the balance sheet of the US group. He also has to start a new product offensive if the aviation group wants to catch up with its rivals from Europe in civil aircraft construction.

More:Guillaume Faury - The new Airbus boss has only been in office since April and has already overtaken arch-rival Boeing. He can thank his predecessor Tom Enders.