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If Airbus Or Boeing Failed, Who Takes Over?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:47 pm

I have been listening to reports about the 787 problems and it got me wondering how good the consolidation of large aircraft builders is in the long term. Today you have Airbus and Boeing as your major competitors in the large transport aircraft category. What would happen if the Boeing 787 turned out to be such a turd that it could bankrupt the company? That would leave Airbus standing alone. The same thing could happen to Airbus too. I know that consolidation of the industry was good for cost containment, but what happens when one of the few major players left screws up and goes away? McDonnell Douglas got hurt with the MD-11 and lagging sales on some other products, but what would happen if the same thing one day happened to Boeing? The same could could be said for Airbus, leaving Europe without a major builder.

If Boeing or Airbus really stepped in it and one of them failed who would step in to be the next major player? Major corporations screw up from time to time and fail, many times they get bought by the competition, but when there are few competitors things may not work out like they have in the past.

Do you think the US government would step in if Boeing went bankrupt? Do you think the EU would so the same if Airbus went Bankrupt? I think that the governments would step in and rescue them both, but only because nobody else probably would or could.
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RE: If Airbus Or Boeing Failed, Who Takes Over?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:44 pm

I could see the respective governments helping out. They employ such a huge number of people, between directly and indirectly (suppliers, etc.). I think it would be difficult to just let such huge companies fail, along with their subsequent unemployment, lack of tax income, etc.

Nobody would even be close to filling the void. Nobody is even close to making the types of huge aircraft that A and B do, aside from perhaps Illyushin. Others may get there some day (COMAC especially), but they're not even close.
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RE: If Airbus Or Boeing Failed, Who Takes Over?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Would love to see some concepts of WB from companies like COMAC/Embraer. Would be great having some more competition in that area.
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RE: If Airbus Or Boeing Failed, Who Takes Over?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:08 pm

If Boeing or Airbus were to go under, it is quite likely that some of the companies that build major components for the a/c of those manufacturers could get together to design and build a/c of their own. Companies like BAE Systems, Alenia Aermacchi, Spirit AeroSystems, Vought Aircraft Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries have experience with not only building components for companies like Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer, but also building a/c of their own.

Even someone like Lockheed-Martin could decide to return to the commercial aviation market if Airbus or Boeing were to go under.
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RE: If Airbus Or Boeing Failed, Who Takes Over?

Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:06 am

Nobody is in a position to take over from either, and at the same time neither of the two are able to provide the aircraft necessary to sustain the aviation industry on their own. Thus, if one fails it will have devastating repercussions for the entire industry, including the sole survivor. Keep in mind that Boeing has for many years been the biggest exporter in the US, and the importance of Airbus is no less dramatic.

Suggesting that e.g. Legardere or Spirit might pick up the baton is utterly unrealistic, as is the idea someone like COMAC or BBD being able and willing to take on the task of producing aircraft in the size and numbers A and B can. Unless, that is, you give them 10 years to do the engineering and a bottomless pit of cash to make it happen. But neither would the industry have 10 spare years of limbo to spare, nor are bottomless pits of cash readily available - particularly as it'll probably be far less expensive to "Chapter 11" and launch anew, than it would be to bring a 2nd tier (no offense intended) up to the level of A or B.

All in all it's more or less a case similar to that of the banks when the financial sector went tits up: Too big to be allowed to fail.
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