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Research Details

Boeing and Airbus: Large Commercial Aircraft, 2000–2021

Abstract

Large commercial aircraft (generally defined as those carrying more than 100 passengers) were some of the most complex manufactured products in the world. A wide-body jet comprising millions of parts and nearly 200 miles of wires and tubing could be priced at $300 million each. Designing and manufacturing them was time-intensive: it could take up to 10 years from initial research to a finished plane. The process required large numbers of highly trained and specialized workers. It also took large amounts of capital; recent aircraft programs were estimated to cost more than $13 billion. Manufacturers had to invest in large and highly specialized facilities and equipment and commit to high attendant fixed costs.

In such a context, decisions by top management - whether initiative or reactive - had enormous consequences.

Type

Case

Author(s)

Jennifer Brown, Meghan Busse, Craig Garthwaite

Date Published

10/04/2021

Discipline

Strategy

Citations

Brown, Jennifer, Meghan Busse, and Craig Garthwaite. Boeing and Airbus: Large Commercial Aircraft, 2000–2021. Case 5-321-512.

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