MIAMI – After comparing 2019-20 financial year figures, Airbus has taken the first spot over Boeing as the biggest aerospace company. This is the first time in a decade that the French company displaces the US aircraft manufacturer.

While Boeing’s annual sales went down to US$76bn during the aforementioned period, Airbus’ went up to US$78,9bn. This is a drastic difference in comparison with 2018-19 figures. For that period, the US company recorded US$177bn in annual sales while its French counterpart only reached US$75.1bn.

Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft tails. Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes.

The Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

Last year, Boeing had to endure the start of the 737 MAX crisis. So far, the troubled aircraft has meant a loss of US$101bn for the manufacturer.

Currently, Boeing’s efforts to return the aircraft to the skies continue with the latest training reviews in London, but the damage is done. Several airlines have continued to cancel 737 MAX orders.

Boeing 737MAX. Photo: Boeing.

The Pandemic Changes Company’s Picture

There is no doubt that the latest figures are due to the pandemic crisis. Airbus recorded a drop in profits from US$6bn to US$1.5 during the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 financial years. On its part, Boeing’s operating losses were about US$2bn.

The downward trend for both aerospace companies is deeper when comparing their operating margins. Airbus recorded 7,9% in 2018 and 1,9% in 2019 while Boeing decreased from 11,9% to -2,6%, respectively.

With the ongoing pandemic, both companies have had to dismiss part of their staff and reduced operations to ensure their future viability. However, this week Airbus CEO warned about more necessary redundancies, and Boeing faces production issues that call for major scrutiny and union outrage related to the 787 Dreamliner’s plant actions.

Featured photo: Airbus A330neo. Photo: Airbus.