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Emirates President Thinks Boeing Overreacted To The A321XLR

The rivalry between Boeing and Airbus has seen tit-for-tat moves on a number of occasions throughout history. Boeing’s hasty launch of the 737 MAX following Airbus’ neo reveal is just one example. Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates and one of the world’s most respected aviation veterans, thinks Boeing has spent too long eyeing what the ‘others across the pond’ are doing, instead of listening to what the market needs.

Did Boeing overreact to the XLR? Photo: Airbus

The world’s most interesting duopoly

The duopoly that has existed between Boeing and Airbus has fascinated the aviation industry for decades. While Boeing historically would have the upper hand, more recent events have seen the US manufacturer playing catch up while Airbus continued to build in strength.

Fascinating as it is to observe, the rivalry has seen some mistakes being made, some of which have turned into tragedy. Scott Hamilton of Leeham News reflected on the way Boeing’s hand was forced into launching the MAX ahead of schedule, when rumors of a huge A320neo order for American Airlines began to swirl.

That’s not to say its development was rushed. It had been on the shelf just about ready to launch, but developments across the pond pushed it to do so sooner than anticipated. But the move also brought into question whether Boeing would proceed with its so-called ‘New Midsize Airplane’ (NMA).

Boeing 797 NMA
The NMA was shelved in early 2019. Image courtesy of DJ’s Aviation

As time went on, and the tragedy of the two MAX crashes began to grip the industry, Boeing pulled back from developing any new aircraft. The NMA was abandoned, or sent back to the drawing board at least. Weeks later, Airbus officially launched its A321XLR – a plane with such capacity and range that Boeing simply could not compete.

On the sidelines of Dubai Airshow, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, pontificated on Boeing’s reaction to developments at Airbus. He said,

“My own view is that Boeing overreacted to…

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