Airbus and Boeing: The Fight for Hegemony

by: Robert E. Kennedy

Publication Date: May 9, 2008
Length: 31 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-593

Core Disciplines: International Business, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This case explores Airbus’s immediate business concerns and management consideration of a new business model that will position the company for long-term success. Airbus experienced a rough 2007—a competitive onslaught from Boeing, delays with product launches, a newly launched restructuring program named Power8, and mounting political pressure. Louis Gallois had been CEO for less than a year, but he already felt like a veteran in his role. These were the immediate concerns, but he also believed that Airbus needed a new business model for the future, and he was committed to positioning the company for success. He wanted to make sure that short-term tactics did not adversely affect the long-term structure of the industry.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Describe the similarities and differences between the military and commercial aircraft industries.
  • Explain why global governments considered the aerospace industry so important.
  • Delineate the steps in commercial aircraft development and launch.