Airbus Sees China Muscling In on Rivalry With Boeing by 2030

Airbus SE expects China to become a legitimate rival in global planemaking by the end of the decade, upending the long-standing duopoly between the European company and U.S. rival Boeing Co.

China has long been a big customer for both manufacturers, accounting for a fifth of Airbus deliveries last year. The country is finally close to success in its long-delayed attempt to build a challenger to the firms’ narrowbody models, with the first C919 single-aisle jet set to be delivered by the end of the year.

Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said Thursday it’s hard to predict how quickly China will be able to establish itself as a credible player, but over time Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, is likely to take a share of the market.

Airbus Sees China Muscling In on Rivalry With Boeing by 2030

“It will start slowly, reaching at the beginning probably only the Chinese airlines, but we believe it will progressively become a decent player,” Faury said in an online event held by the Atlantic Council thinktank. “We will go from a duopoly to a triopoly on the single aisle probably by the end of the decade.”

Adding a third player would increase price pressure on the two incumbents and risk them being shut out of supplying China’s state-owned airlines. Airbus in particular has benefited from its presence in China in recent years, amid escalating tensions between the Asian country and then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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