The design and certification of a new airliner is very different to many other professions, and those outside the industry underestimate the depth of work required to have a new design certified. We will be stuck with the Boeing/Airbus duolopy for a very long time. It take more than an individual to design and certify an airliner, it takes a very large team.
There are other high paid professions such as law where you can pay enough money to get a law degree, get certified, and start their own law practice and take on whoever you want. There is no barrier to entry into the marketplace once the initial certification is obtained. Once in the marketplace, they are free to use any tricks or devices to gain business, we have all heard of ambulance chasers. This is very different in the large civil airliner world.
You cannot as a sole practitioner engineer design and build an airliner. Aircraft design requires a lot of very intelligent people working together in teams, with a lot of experience, with experienced project managers and design leaders. It requires knowledge on how to certify a product, and how to obtain a production certificate. It is not a rapid process, and trying to manage a program to meet publicity events to grab headlines (like the 787 rollout) often ends in disaster.
The most recent commercial airliner from Russia, the SSJ
100 took around 11 years to get certified domestically, and another year to get EASA certified. The ARJ21 airliner from China, which many call a MD
-80 copy also took 12 years to get certified domestically at the end of 2014, and that was with Antonov doing the wing design. Now in 2016, after a brief few flights the commercial introduction it has been delayed indefinitely. Both of these projects, and you can add the MRJ and CSeries show that you don't get paid unless you can actually build and sell the aircraft. These new entrants are not providing much competition at all to the Airbus/Boeing duopoly.
While some people on here think they can sprout a few number, few percentage gains, or pontificate some aeronautical vernacular to add credibility to their posts to overgeneralize the easy of making performance gains. In reality the process of designing, certifying, and building an airliner and aircraft engines is orders of magnitude more difficult then many ever anticipate.
The barriers to entry into the large commercial airliner space are significant, and the most overlooked part of it is the certification and production process. Boeing and Airbus have significant advantage over anyone else given the recent history of developing new designs (777/A380/A400/A350) and various upgrades (777-300ER/A320Neo/737MAX).
I really dont see a way for the existing duopoly to being even closely matched by a new entrant. I also dont see a replacement for the 737MAX or the A320Neo until there is some meaningful powerplant improvements. Any improvements over the next decade I would see to be progressive insertion of technology rather than a whole new clean sheet design.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News