Airbus, the France-based aircraft manufacturer, says “airlines will need larger jets as passenger traffic doubles and congestion limits the number of flights into mega-hubs, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.”

The Chicago-based Boeing, however, “doesn’t see much demand for really big aircraft going forward,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president for marketing. Boeing will focus on mid-range aircraft and the goal would be to “spur growth with jetliners that avoid hubs and link smaller cities on routes that aren’t properly matched to today’s aircraft.”

Although Airbus and Boeing compete with each other, in deciding to focus on different parts of the market, they may have succeeded in setting each other up for long-term growth. Boeing in particular has positioned themselves to work where others are not by exploring part of the market that are underserved or underutilized. Opting to explore the edges of the market, they may find that they have maximum flexibility and room to maneuver as the airline industry evolves.

Related links:

Boeing planning hypersonic jets for commercial flights

Boeing intensifies small-jet battle with Airbus

Boeing launches new jet with a flurry of orders

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