Boeing takes Airbus orders in its stride

The US aerospace group Boeing says it is unruffled despite successive civilian aircraft orders announced at the Paris Air Show by European rival Airbus.

    At the Paris air show, the competition between the world's two biggest makers of civilian aircraft was clearly in Airbus' favour with the score standing at 64 to nine on Thursday.

      

    Head of Boeing's commercial aircraft division Alan Mulally refused to say how many orders his group expected to receive this year.

      

    The civilian version of Boeing's 767 is not attracting many buyers. Yet the company insists it is not quitting the commercial aircraft business.

     

    Defence orders

      

    "We are not on a path to get out of commercial airplanes," Chairman Phil Condit said, in a newspaper interview.

     

    In recent years, Boeing’s defence unit has contributed almost as much to the group's bottom line as passenger jets, a sector in which Airbus may have surpassed the Chicago-based competitor.

     

    Airbus: Flying high

    The US armed forces and governmental organisations account for 90 percent of Boeing's defence sales, chief of its defence unit Jim Albaugh was quoted as saying by news reports. 

     

    Boeing's goal is to "attain two-digit profitability within five years" and sales of more than 40 billion dollars by 2007, Albaugh added.

      

    Corroborating the trend, a study by two US universities said Boeing could halt commercial plane production within 10 years to focus on military aircraft.

      

    The defence and high technology sectors provided greater profits than those made in the civil aviation sector, the study found.

      

    The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) -- which owns 80 percent of Airbus -- would also like to increase its defence activities, now responsible for 20 percent of its total sales.

      

    Defence sales at the group are expected to increase by 60 percent between now and 2005, EADS co-president Philippe Camus said.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.