This was an interesting article by Jad Mouwad. It is the predications of Airbus and Boeing a decade ago that led to this particular situation in time. The information both had were the same – air traffic was doubling every 15 years which meant by 2030 there could be 4 billion international travellers. While Airbus predicted the future of travel lay in major hubs, Boeing saw the development of secondary airports.
This is where the strategy they adopted based on their prediction deviated. Airbus spent $25 billion to develop the A380 – the huge double decker monster with a capacity of 500+ passengers (it has a price rage of $400 million)! It meant redesigned airports and a whole host of other problems including manufacturing issues. Most of its customers are based in Middle East and Asia and after the initial flurry of orders, the numbers are slowing down. Boeing on the other hand went with the smaller sleeker 787 Dreamliner (250+).
The recent Malaysian airline crisis – MH 370 and the MH 17 make one wary of doubling the number of passengers (reduce risk of loss of life). The reluctance of airports to redesign (which is understandable in primary congested hubs) also slows adoption of the A380. The delays in delivery are another issue. Scenario planning is important as it impacts strategy and future sales.
Picture Source: bloga350.blogspot.ae/2013/05/a350-xwb-first-flight-aircraft-msn1-html