The Editor’s Corner #16 – The Airbus & Boeing Battle Will Heat Up At Farnborough

LONDON – As our team heads to the Farnborough Air Show next week, it’s my personal belief that the Airbus & Boeing battle will heat up. Welcome to The Editor’s Corner.

The Editor’s Corner is an op-ed series from AviationSource Editor-in-Chief James Field, who is going to give his thoughts (Maybe controversial) on all things going on in the aviation industry.

In case you have missed the last 15, feel free to browse through them before you continue to read this piece:

  1. The Editor’s Corner #1: The Industry Isn’t Ready for Summer 2022 Demand
  2. The Editor’s Corner #2: JetBlue’s Offer for Spirit Airlines Will Change The American Airline Dynamic
  3. The Editor’s Corner #3: Boris Johnson’s Damage To The Aviation Sector is Another Reason for Resignation
  4. The Editor’s Corner #4: PLAY Will Transform The Market with a Post-Pandemic Edge
  5. The Editor’s Corner #5: Detriment of the Boeing 737 MAX & 787 Is Causing a 777X-Based Aftershock
  6. The Editor’s Corner #6: Qantas’ Plans For The Future Will Turn Around Negative Times
  7. The Editor’s Corner #7: The P2F Market Is Hotting Up…
  8. The Editor’s Corner #8: O’Leary Is Gunning For Another Cheap Boeing Order
  9. The Editor’s Corner #9: Ukraine Crisis: Turkish Airlines’ A350 Snap-Up from Aeroflot May Have Something To Do With A Red Carpet…
  10. The Editor’s Corner #10 – Ukraine Crisis: Lessors Will Not Win The Russia Battle
  11. The Editor’s Corner #11 – Spirit Airlines Are Slowly Changing Their Mind…
  12. The Editor’s Corner #12 – The Indian Air Cargo Market Is Hotting Up
  13. The Editor’s Corner #13 – Video Footage From RedAir Flight 203 Highlights Dangers of Carrying Luggage During an Evacuation
  14. The Editor’s Corner #14 – The Spirit-Frontier-JetBlue Battle for Merger Will Be Remembered As A Mess
  15. The Editor’s Corner #15 – Flyr, Norse & Norwegian Have Opportunity to Capitalise on SAS’ Woes

James will be starting things off with his next topic being: The Airbus & Boeing Battle Will Heat Up At Farnborough

The Airbus & Boeing Battle Will Heat Up At Farnborough

As a personal prediction ahead of the Farnborough Air Show next week, I believe that the Airbus & Boeing battle will heat up, with some blockbuster orders potentially on the way.

As mentioned in the previous analysis, Airbus will want to convey a positive rate of sales momentum through its respective programs, to put even more pressure on Boeing.

With the 737 MAX, 777X, and 787 all having problems of their own, Boeing will be using this airshow as an opportunity to market themselves and sell differently.

Landscape Has Changed…

At the 2018 Farnborough Air Show, both Boeing and Airbus sold a huge number of aircraft, with there being around $200bn worth of aircraft being sold at that point.

It is clear that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine Crisis, we could see a similar valuation, as airlines are wanting to look ahead towards the end of the decade.

With there being some blockbuster orders from the Dubai Air Show last year, both sides will want to keep that level of momentum up to put pressure on each other as much as possible.

This is exactly the reason why this airshow is going to be one to look out for, as anything can happen. Such crises have caused a wave of unpredictability that could benefit either side in Farnborough.

Airbus Has The Upper Hand?

Airbus has had a strong 2022 so far when it comes to commercial airliner orders and will be wanting to use Farnborough as a foundation of conveyed consistency.

With air travel beginning to bounce back rapidly, as we have seen through travel chaos globally, airlines will, of course, be using this high level of demand as a baseline for how many more aircraft they will need.

This, of course, will play well into the hands of manufacturers such as Airbus, as there is open room for orders to be made and announced subsequently.

It is also the reason why FIA22, in particular, is going to be an exciting airshow. Off the back of a busy Dubai Air Show, it shows that airlines are shopping again. And that is what matters to Airbus.

Boeing Has The Opportunity To Do Well…

Boeing will be sending their 737 MAX and 777X aircraft in order to produce a strong enough show that will highlight to the world that they are back on the map.

This recovery will, of course, be measured by the number of orders they get for both programs, despite the programs experiencing either delays or groundings.

Improvement in consumer confidence needs to be established in order to produce the sort of orders that the likes of Airbus have been acquiring over the course of this year.

So, in this case, Boeing will definitely be seen as the underdog at Farnborough, with there being expectations towards blockbuster orders, which they are going to need.

Each Side Has Had Negative PR…

Each side has had a level of negative PR that could influence the way that customers order going into the future.

On the Airbus side, we still have the ongoing battle with Qatar Airways over surface erosion claims on the A350s. This could put long-haul customers off from ordering Airbus, and this could benefit Boeing well.

On the Boeing side, we, of course, are seeing the issues across the three main aircraft programs, the 777X, 787, and 737 MAX.

The MAX is still mired and associated with Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610, the 787 is mired with FAA certification rules, and the 777X has got substantial delays.

With Airbus having the least amount of negative PR, this could also work well in its favor of Airbus.

Overall Opinion: Airbus Will Come Out On Top in the Battle…

Overall, I believe Airbus will come out on top in the battle, but I think it will be a close call, to say the least. Of course, with this being an opinion piece, I could be wrong and will be happy to accept that depending on what happens next week.

On our live blog, which will be starting next week, we have included a scoreboard table for Airbus, Boeing, Embraer & ATR.

We will use that table again to generate what I believe will be a fair prediction of what the scoreboard will actually look like.

ManufacturerDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Grand Total
This scoreboard will be handling firm orders, Memorandum of Understandings & letters of Intent as one collective figure. Conversion orders are not applicable in this table.

It is key to note that this is all guesswork based on the history of previous airshows, being Farnborough, Paris & Dubai, but I thought it would be neat to give you a prediction of what we think.

Either way, it is going to be an exciting week, and we are super excited here at AviationSource to showcase this to you all!

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