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The Rise of Airbus Case Study

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Updated: Jul 2nd, 2020

Airbus is a joint venture in Europe, involving EADS and BAE organizations. Its centre is in France. Since 1970’s, Airbus has become an aircraft producer for massive civil jetliners and, currently, it is struggling for the market headship with Boeing, in a duopoly. The corporation offers an array of aisles and broad, body aircrafts, which ferry from 110 to 555 travelers, a mark of sturdy diversification.

Airbus has the mark of the innovation leader, through using fresh technologies for lessening operating fuel burn, overheads, noise, emanations, and, concurrently, the escalating range. Since 2002, the corporation has been experiencing regular revenues boost. In 2006, the company recorded €25.2 billion, a raise of 13.2% from the previous year (Airbus, 2006).

Therefore, Airbus is the cash cow of EADS, with almost 64 % of the sum revenue at EAD. Airbus believes piously in the well-built air traffic connecting main hub airports in the world, from a strategic standpoint. Hence Airbus considers its mega-jumbo A380 like the airline’s preeminent solution in prospect (Norris, 2010).

This paper first analyzes the mission, objectives, and strategies of Airbus, before discussing the key internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as, the key external opportunities and threats facing the industry. Recommendations and conclusions appear at the last sections of the paper.

Mission, Objectives, and Strategies of Airbus

The long-term strategic purpose of Airbus is in its strategic group vision of “creating the best and safest aircraft” (Airbus, 2006). The mission statement, which pursues the standard “to meet the wants of operators and airlines through producing the most recent and comprehensive aircraft family on the market, complemented by the highest standard of product support”(Airbus, 2006), substantiates the long term strategic purpose of the company.

To specify this mission, Airbus planned in its goal that the corporation desires to deliver strong products in a sustained way, while dominating almost half of commercial aircraft market, in the globe, eventually. This will thrive by objectives such as extra internationalization, centering on chief geographic markets, intensifying its client services offering, as well as, reinstating its competitive frame through focusing on competence and flexibility.

Key Internal Strengths

A chief reason for the triumph of Airbus is diversity. At present, the global presence of airbus is growing internationally. Airbus has advantage due to the diversity of its workers. For instance, among its 55,000 workers, are employees from diverse nationalities. The industry values the knowledge and skills that persons from diverse environments bring.

A corporation cannot help but flourish when it embraces the blend of vision, knowledge, ideas and such a mixture of cultures generates. This initiative assists Airbus to flourish in its endeavors. The industry has become an international player, since 1970, beating Boeing in 2005, a firm that has been in function for an exceedingly long phase. The incessant declaration to freeze the costs of spare parts is a key success of Airbus, regarding customer support. This has been the case for three consecutive years.


The impediment of the A380 is a key weakness, presently, facing Airbus. On October 2006, it caused the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), the parent corporation, to alter its administration. Breiger, the earlier head of Eurocopter, is the principal operating officer and Hans Peter Ring, a former EADS chief financial officer is the CFO at Airbus (Norris, 2010).

On top of the modifications in upper administration, Airbus, as well, plans to lessen the amount of suppliers it utilizes. Airbus approximates that the strategy, which would cut the corporation’s supplier revolution, would lessen material prices by $2 billion over the subsequent three years.

The aircraft monster declares that the supplier consolidation will, as well, reduce administrative overheads by almost $446.5 million. At first, Airbus surprised clients and investors, in June, by increasing the A380’s construction impediment to a whole year, blaming wiring issues. However, in the beginning October, it doubled the delay, once more, to a sum of two years and alleged the delay would wash $6 billion off the proceeds of the parent group EADS in four years (Norris, 2010).

In the year 2006, additional ramifications from the impediment of the A380 harmed Airbus when the biggest, global express transportation corporation, FedEx, turned, into the earliest of Airbus’ clients, to withdraw ten double-decker orders, in preference of fifteen Boeing freighters.

Key External Opportunities

An ongoing achievement for Airbus is their dedication to environmental conservation. This is a win/win condition for any corporation that desires to be at the vanguard of the next upheaval of clean technology, and obtain its benefits.

Building new technologies, which decrease an aircrafts existence carbon footprint, is an attractive aspect that every airline would desire to have. The view of the public regarding the Earth and the impacts of global warming is changing, and the meeting, which Airbus and other corporations attended in 2006, is confirmation that they are ready for transformation.

Airbus takes pleasure, since it is one of the business leaders that are sensitive to the environment. In the current world, it is vital for a large company to be environmentally clean as clients like to do business with corporations that conserve resources for future use.

As a business leader, Airbus dedicates to achieving environmental distinction, both for its products and in its production sites. Thus, the corporation dedicates its effort to enhancing environmental responsiveness incessantly, by ensuring that all its production sites conform to the latest values for environmental friendliness.

Nine other Airbus developing sites obtained the ISO 14001 certification in 2005. This is an ingredient of a companywide strategy to execute an Environmental Management System, so as, to enhance its environmental performance (Norris, 2010).

As a business leader, however, Airbus devotes to moving towards ecological excellence and the Ecological Management System will be the key provision to demonstrate how its methodically participating improved ecological practices into all areas of its commerce.

With the ISO 14001 warranty of Toulouse and Hamburg sites beleaguered for use in 2006, Airbus will, in that case, convert all these distinct sites certification into a general business certification, including spots and produces, by the end of 2006” (Airbus, 2006).

Airbus has also setup a business to reprocess planes that may undergo withdrawal in the prospect. Airbus guesses that extra 4,000 airplanes may undergo superannuation in the subsequent twenty years, roughly 2000 per year. EADS works with associates, such as, SITA (a waste management company) to aid with the reprocessing of the mothballing of the aircrafts (Airbus, 2006).

The projects technical manager of Airbus, proclaimed this regarding functioning with SITA, “We concentrate, in procedures, to reprocess and recuperate used materials like, tires, plastics and batteries” (Norris, 2010) However, Airbus attempts to delight the clients with being conserving the environment. It is extremely bracing to see that Airbus takes egotism in being harmless and clean to the environs.


Lawsuit is a threat to Airbus industry. Just of late, Airbus pleaded guilty, alongside with Air France, for indemnities that stemmed close to the town of Strasbourg in the 1992 crash, whereby almost ninety individuals died.

Although the substantiation is unsuccessful to point to one individual intention that caused the plane to bang in to the mounts, it does appear that a mass of factors ranging from an inexpert crew to a possible broken down guidance system may have been at mistake. To date, Air France has now paid$27 million to many families of the victims (Airbus, 2006). It can request the corporation to pay their share of the dents.

Since Airbus is a worldwide corporation, which has clients and providers from all over the sphere, a main economic risk they face is how money exchange rates affect profits. Parent institutions of EADS’ chief revenues are in U.S. dollars although a hefty portion of its incurred outlays is in the shape of Sterling Pounds, the legal tender of the United Kingdom, and Euro, that of the European Union.

The disparity of exchange rates may cause an adverse change in Airbus and, consequently, EADS income. So as, to tackle this hitch, EADS runs a long-term equivocation portfolio that attempts to guard itself against noteworthy changes in the exchange rate, in addition to, irregular losses of revenue as a result of deferment, as in the situation of the A380, and order terminations, like in the circumstance of FedEx.

Airbus has lots of peripheral risks out of their mechanism as the terrorist assaults in New York and Madrid, and the extent of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus has validated. Terrorism and epidemics can adversely affect public opinion of air travel security and ease, which can affect the mandate for air travel and manufacture of new profit-making aircraft (Norris, 2010).

Moreover, significant airplane bangs may have a destructive effect on the public views, on the wellbeing, of an aircraft. As of endemics, terrorism and other tragic occasions, an airline may be confronted, with declined demand for air voyage, and be forced to take expensive security and safety techniques. Another peril inherent in the airline industry is rivalry. Most of EADS’ companies are subject to significant rivalry. Airbus, in particular, has suffered from the descending price pressure subsequent from the rivalry.

EADS believe that the current falling of some of the essential causes of such price rivalry instigates the current failing of ultimatum which has led to superior control for certain clients to encourage rivalry in reverence of a variety of issues, most outstandingly price and imbursement terms (Norris, 2010). Airbus and its most direct opponent Boeing have both blamed each other of unlawful government backing. In previous years, Airbus and its main rivals have benefited from government funding for product investigation and expansion.

However, no declarations can be given that backing will last to be made accessible for future developments. In 1992, the European Union and the United States arrived into a consensual “Agreement on Trade in Large Civil Aircraft”, whose main impartial was to legalize the height of regime provision to both airliner industries.

The autarchic departure from the 1992 pact by the US government in late 2004 finally led to denunciations back and out by the EU and the US, through the World Trade Organization (Norris, 2010). The US and the EU have, as well, arrived into deliberations, to seek steadfastness to the issues being doubtful in the official WTO process, with the goal of approving on a new structure that provides for a level on stage field when backing future airliner developments.

In 2005, the EU and the US settled on terms for dialogues on grants affecting the civil airliner sector. The objective of these discussions was to eradicate dissimilar types of sponsorships and fair market-based rivalry among Boeing and Airbus.

Peter Mandelson, the current Trade Commissioner for the European Union, expressed content because he was able to settle on a way onward, together with the previous US Deputy Secretary of State. He hoped that their talks in the subsequent three months would tip to an agreement ending endowments to development and production of large civil airplane.

Airbus can arguably be delighted of the brilliant range of airliner it is manufacturing and is obviously capable of challenging in the worldwide market place. In the year and a half since repudiations first initiated, the two are no closer to deciding the disputes. In November 2006, America took the initiative of building the first suggestions to a WTO panel concerning government backings for Airbus.

EU Trade spokesperson Peter Power said that EU has continuously sought to resolve the aircraft disagreement through arbitration rather than a court case, but, unfortunately, the exasperation from US and Boeing is vast. The EU will powerfully protect this case and follow its own case against the WTO illegal sponsorships agreed by the US administration to Boeing (Norris, 2010).

Indirect rivals to the Airbus Corporation would comprise trains, ships and vehicles. For expanses above 1,500 miles, there exists no realistic substitute to flying.

However, shorter distances increase rivalry. Besides, airplane crashes give the foremost edge to rivalry. Although an individual is far more prone to die in a car mishap, disastrous events in the carrier commerce underline and broadcast on a sophisticated level.

Airbus Flight 587 collapsed to the earth, after leaving the airport, exterminating the 260 on board and 6 people on the ground, in 2001. The plane breakdown initiates the mishap. Catastrophes such as this give a false representation of flying, and are the springs of untrusting passengers, who then opt to move by other ways.

Airbus also façades much rivalry right within the aircraft engineering industry. The “strength” of Airbus is their A320 kinfolk, which comprises the A318, A319, A320 and the A321. Direct rivals to these aircrafts are a sequence of the Embraer E-Jets and Boeing aircrafts. Embraer, is position four in the world manufacture of civil airliners, and second in local airliners (Airbus, 2006).

Their chief focus is on jets and turboprops with area for 21-116 travelers. They also harvest transport, light attack, and observation airplane in which the Brazilian Air Force is their chief buyer. Bombardier, traced in Quebec, is the numeral three producers of national airliners.

It leads Embraer in the manufacture of regional airliners and the number one. Bombardier’s conveyance division includes Daimler Chrysler’s Adtranz rail system, which is the chief railway gear maker in the world. They also preserved a reformation vehicle industry at one time, which they vended.

Embraer and Bombardier are negligible rivalry to Airbus when related to Boeing. Boeing is the world’s biggest space corporation globally, while Airbus is the strongest opponent in the commercial airliner industry. The competing corporations are far from a welcoming connection. In 1992, a contract between the corporations quantified the limit of sponsorships endorsed from their governments, but the contract has been unworkable.

Each firm has blamed the other for not following the instructions in the contract, and, in 2004, Boeing filed an official protest. In reply, Airbus also filed an objection based on partial launch aid by the US administration. The court case is in the process, at present, and the ending will have a massive impact on the prospect of the aircraft business. Potential projects, for instance, Airbus’s A350 will rely on subsidy, through the administration, to assist with development and research overheads.

For the present projects, the A380 airliner should go directly with the Boeing 747 (Sascha, 2007). Although 2005 was the fifth year in a ruckus, whereby Airbus obtained beyond fifty percent of the market share, problems with the A380 are likely to bring this line to a halt this year. The interruptions in the engineering and delivering of the A380 are proving to be extremely destructive.

In June of this year, Airbus had stated a second delay in the conveyance of expected airliners, which is leading to a decline in orders and shares. In its place, the companies will acquire fifteen freighters from Boeing, each worth $235 million each (Airbus, 2006). Airbus still has 166 orders registered, but further deferrals and prevention can easily cause Airbus to drop more transactions to Boeing. The year 2006 is the crucial time yet in the conflict among Boeing and Airbus for market fragment.

Analysis of Airbus Strategies

Organization of Philosophy, Culture and Leadership

The philosophy of the corporation is, at all times, to listen to its clients, which has positioned Airbus at the vanguard of the business. The value of excellence and innovation normally links with a tradition of partnership by management, as well as, amid the workers and the administrative levels- like towards clients and suppliers. The notion of leadership at Airbus is about sharing tasks and ideas amid all nationalities and levels, so as to obtain the best outcome.

Strategic Levels

Functional-region strategies inside the division of Airbus signify the strong relation with the parent group EADS. Besides, it is expanding internationally with an inclusive strategy of improving the supply chain and market existence. EADS corporate strategy applies on Airbus since Airbus is a whole subsidiary of EADS and acts as its segment.

The key management aims to emphasize EADS’ place as a leader in main international defense and aerospace economies. Airbus, in its business approach, in the division, follows diversification strategy as the finest cost source in each market division for outstanding jetliners, which are civil and commercial.

Differentiation Strategy of Airbus

The Airbus A380 is Airbus’ key to the increasing traffic linking main hubs, as well as, scarce resources and slot faculties at these centers. Therefore, Airbus upholds the notion of the hub strategy, which requires the volume of travelers at central airports be increased by added mass transportation and feeder traffic on extensive haul flights with extremely vast airplanes.

Improvement of Quality, Efficiency, Customer Responsiveness and Innovation

In an endeavor to re-establish its competitive frame, Airbus aims at improving its customer receptiveness, value, efficiency and innovation. So as, to streamline the business and productions procedures and to form a system of international business partners, the company launched the Power 8 program (Sascha, 2007).

To reinforce the partnership with main suppliers everywhere in the world, EADS established a supplier and procurement system. Data streams collectively in the EADS Global Innovation Networks so as, to improve cooperation, sharing practices and competence of the supply chain. Airbus, also, stress on the expansion of goods in reaction to customer desires.

Recommendations/ Implementation Issues

Airbus does need to advance something on its new airliner the A380. Airbus needs to discourse the public complaint of the excessive deal of sound the A380 makes close to the airfields. Also, Airbus should think through changing/reconsidering its goals under its mission declaration about conveying on time, with high worth, done the first time, if, in fact, it cannot meet these typical it has set for itself.

In the long-standing, Airbus may form a few modifications and enhancements reach its clients and even get in new ones. For the long -term, we feel that Airbus needs to try to defeat the overseas emerging markets. These markets would comprise nations like India and China, which are presently experiencing defeat by Boeing.

Airbus also needs to certify that there is a vast deal of miscellany within the firm. We feel that people do notice when a global enterprise such as Airbus is willing to hire personnel of diverse nationalities. We feel that multiplicity is notable for a worldwide corporation because they hear diverse aspects from all over the sphere.

In the long-standing Airbus should remain to make security number one. Airbus uses a lot of money on drill and security, and they should remain to do so for everybody who flies on a plane with subsidy. The very last item we would propose for Airbus is to uphold its endeavors to preserve the environment.

Airbus, as well, needs to collaborate with airfields and airport stylists of new airfields, since there is a limited volume of airfields that the new A380 can use. Most airfield airstrips are diminutive, not wide plenty, and they cannot handle the massive load of the A380. Airbus has earlier done a marvelous job, by being ecologically clean, and they should endure to improve these efforts, as fresh skills allow them to do so.

In conclusion, the mission, objectives and strategies of Airbus are all connected to the long-term strategic vision. The chief strength of Airbus is the diversity of its workers. On the other hand, Airbus faces a key weakness due to the impediment of the A380. A key external strength for Airbus is their dedication to environmental conservation.

Building new technologies, which decrease an aircrafts existence carbon footprint, is an attractive aspect, since the view of the public regarding the Earth and the impacts of global warming is changing. Lawsuit, exchange rates, terrorists and rivalry are some of the threats facing Airbus.

The value of excellence and innovation normally links with a tradition of partnership by management, as well as, amid the workers and the administrative levels- like towards clients and suppliers. Also, the Airbus A380 is Airbus’ key to the increasing traffic linking main hubs, as well as, scarce resources and slot faculties at these centers.


Airbus (2006). Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacture. Retrieved from

Norris, G. (2010). Airbus A380: superjumbo of the 21st century. Minneapolis, MN: Zenith.

Sascha, M. (2007). Airbus versus Boeing: strategic management report. Munich: G RIN Publishing GmbH

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