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Boeing Versus Airbus: The Inside Story of the Greatest International Competition in Business

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  355 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The commercial airline industry is one of the most volatile, dog-eat-dog enterprises in the world, and in the late 1990s, Europe’s Airbus overtook America’s Boeing as the preeminent aircraft manufacturer. However, Airbus quickly succumbed to the same complacency it once challenged, and Boeing regained its precarious place on top. Now, after years of heated battle and misma ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published January 16th 2007 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jul 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
This could be written in one chapter. Reads more like a newspaper column. Every page is filled with this: Boeing is like this, Airbus is like that. Annoying!
Czarny Pies
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Someone highly interested in the aviation industry.
Shelves: american-history
Boeing versus Airbus is certainly not as good as Newhouse's earlier book The Sporty Book which covered the major events in the airplane manufacturing industry during the 1980s. Nonetheless it provides an adequate history of the competition waged between 1990 and 2005 by the two firms that still dominate the airplane market in 2016.
John Newhouse is a highly qualified observer who has very sound judgement concerning the trends in the industry. Notably his prediction that Airbus would never sell en
Vinay Mehta
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
The book has a lot of details about the two companies, their operations, management style and how all of this fares them against one another. But, what I missed here is details on key things that would have mattered; numbers for production rates, margins, sales growth etc that would show definitive comparison between the two.

Also, the chronology of events is not maintained rather few chapters are just filled up with contents un-necessary to the point or not relevant in the context.

Could have bee
Newton Shreram
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
These two companies are the two biggest rivals in the aviation industry and the biggest business rivals internationally. John Newhouse takes us through Boeing's fall in the 1990's, to the corrupted leadership of Airbus in the 2000's. Must read for anyone who loves buisness and aviation.
Oliver Hazan
Jan 23, 2011 rated it liked it
A somewhat lackluster sequel to "The Sporty Game." Still, quite interesting if you're into airliners.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brilliantly written book which chronicles the journey of Boeing and Airbus over the past half century. A rich explanation on the interaction between the various stakeholders like airlines, engine manufacturers, politics with these aircraft manufacturers, is commendable. This opens up our mind to the wide array of global dynamics which is not intuitive.

John Newhouse clearly takes the side against Boeing, but not for Airbus. This could have arose due to the sense of betrayal that Americans might h
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting story of the concurrent paths of these two giants of airframe manufacturers, especially in identifying the swings to & from dominance and decline that each have experienced.
Some of the characters described were certainly larger than life too.
As with many books on the aviation industry this has quickly dated having been written before delivery of the first B787 and when the development of the A350 was barely begun. Also evidenced by the observation that Emirates gets scant reference
Kathy D
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It reads like a tennis match and Newhouse provides blame, praise and insight for both airframe manufacturers. China's upcoming entry into the commercial aircraft market will make this an ongoing "who's in first?'
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: industry, non-fiction
Good history on the rise and development of both companies and the overall industry landscape, but started getting lost in all the similar plane model numbers somewhere near the middle... This book needs a reference chart showing how the models compare/compete against each other.
Jan 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
The Economist gave this book a great review.
Sep 20, 2007 rated it liked it
wonderfully skim-able. Would have made a great 2 part series in the business section. I'm glad I read it, but I'm also glad I spent less than a day on it.
Syahid Abdullah
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it
hell why i must know about the business? cool. I'm in aviation.
Alex Moskalyuk
May 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Pretty good overview of the market dynamics and competitive pressures faced by Boeing and Airbus. A fairly detailed history of the 787 Dreamliner project with some good insights into how airlines buy and operate planes, and who calls the shots in the airline industry. The book needlessly goes into Boeing's corporate infighting, boardroom chess and personality clashes, which does get boring after a bit.
Sebastian Henao
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
-Historically you can understand by reading this book the main technological, political and economic factors that have made the aviation industry evolve
-It is written in an friendly way, were any reader can understand technical aspects of the topics
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aviazione, inglese
great book!!
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, but reads like a stack of WSJ articles stitched together into a book.
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you want to understand some of the reasons for Boeing’s challenges today - read this book.
Feb 15, 2019 added it
Shelves: bowdoin-reads
Youle Kang–John Newhouse's Boeing Versus Airbus introduced me to the fascinating and dangerous world of air industry: the inside story of the greatest international competition in business. As America's most succesful and admired corporation from inception, Boeing aircrafts dominated the commercial airplane market until the European startup Airbus entered the game in 1980s. Since then, it has grabbed half of the market share. This is not a happy ending, however, as Airbus "suffered from mismanag ...more
A very good accounting of the rivalry over the years between Boeing and Airbus in the market for commercial aircraft. I thought the book was a little sluggish to start, a little scattershot as it bounced from topic to topic. However, the book settled in a well-paced narrative that laid out the evolution of the place of the remaining two titans of commercial airplanes in the commercial aviation industry.

Reading numerous reviews of travel experiences from various airlines as well as having travele
May 24, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: Yes, tenatively
With the on-going drama between the two companies, it really is a shame this book was published when it was. That being said, the constant back-and-forth between the two companies makes nearly any book on the topic out of date. Interestingly, this books release coincided with a number of cancelled orders for Airbus' A380. Aside from that, this book provides a nice overview of the state of how the airline manufacturing industry functions (or stumbles precipitously). Generally speaking, this book ...more
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good, factually based, easy to read, able to call both Boeing and Airbus on their failings, although it does seem slightly biased towards Boeing (although as a fan of Boeing, I can't really object, only observe). But overall, the author tries and succeeds to portray a balanced view of the competition between the two giants of the commercial aircraft production industry.

I docked this book some stars because many of the chapters seem to go back and recover the same ground as before, and rehash the
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
John Newhouse delivers a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the airline industry from the suppliers to the airports and how they are connected to these two giants. Each representing one of the largest export commodities for their respective countries or collection of countries their impact on the world economy is clearly assessed in this book. Newhouse looks at not only their current state but how each developed into its position from mergers and acquisition to government subsidies. It looks at ...more
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book had been on my "to read" list since it came out 7 years ago and I knew by now it was going to be very dated. However, I thought it would still be a good primer and provide historical perspective on what is, if not "the greatest international competition in business," at least one of the more interesting ones. Sadly, I found it lacking and suspect that this book is merely an extension of a more comprehensive book by the author on the airline industry, The Sporty Game, which I have not r ...more
Peter Rooijmans
More a collection of newspaper articles than a historical account. At times repetitive and superficial. However, the theme of how massively expensive and thereby risky high-tech projects are decided on, remains interesting and inspiring, especially for someone from a country, where the government has no clue as to the meaning and importance of high-tech.
Christopher Durand
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Lots of good information on the air-frame and aircraft industry, but was difficult to follow at points. Would be interesting to see an update about Boeing's issues with the 787 especially as it had to bring much of the work back in house to get it completed properly.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spotted an error in the final paragraphs of chapter eight:
"Six months later, SIA, the industry's bellwether, concluded a long negotiating process with the rival teams by choosing the 787 over the A350."

In 2006, SIA purchased twenty 787s and thirty A350s.
Dec 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Superman needs Lex Luthor.

I work for Boeing, so I'll let you guess which company is which in my little analogy.

Most of this book was over my head.
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
good story about their competition... a lot of agent x principal dilemmas.
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Didn't really live up to its title of 'inside story'. Still a good read for airline geeks.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: aviation
Great topic but not very well written. The structure and time line were all over the place. Still worth reading
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Wilfred John Newhouse was an American journalist and author.

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