What Is the Difference Between Airbus and Boeing?

The main difference between Airbus and Boeing, the two largest producers of commercial airliners in the world, is that Boeing is a leader in larger, wide-body jets, whereas Airbus has greater sales in the smaller, narrow-body market. Competition is stiff, with Airbus booking 1,503 orders in 2013 versus 1,355 for Boeing, though Airbus pulled $13 billion less in revenue than Boeing in 2013.

Airbus is an airliner manufacturer based in France, with facilities throughout Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Airbus began as a consortium of manufacturers, but eventual consolidation allowed it to become one of the largest players in the industry. The company produces the world’s largest passenger jet, the A380, which challenged Boeing’s monopoly in the large-aircraft market upon its release in 2007. Airbus has a new, efficient airliner in the works dubbed the A350. This long-range, wide-body jet features a carbon-fiber design and is slated to compete directly with Boeing’s new energy-efficient offering, the 787.

Boeing is an American airliner corporation based in Chicago. In a strategy similar to that of Airbus, Boeing absorbed its largest rival, McDonnell Douglas, in 1977. Boeing’s newest entry into the market is the 787 Dreamliner, a revolutionary jetliner manufactured with up to 50 percent composition materials and designed to increase fuel efficiency and reduce environmental impact. The aircraft has suffered several problems since the first model rolled off the line in 2007, most notably with the lithium-ion battery pack. These issues were resolved in 2013 and Boeing expects the 787 to be incredibly successful due to new demand for super efficient airliners, a result of rising global fuel prices.