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Bombardier, Inc. (BBD.A), The Boeing Company (BA): Can You Trust an Aircraft Manufacturer?

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We tend to be pretty annoyed when an airline delays our flight. Anywhere from the minor inconvenience of a half hour delay to the major interruption of a five hour delay can leave passengers ticked at their air travel experience. But while airlines delay flights for various reasons, they themselves have been experiencing delays in recent years that have impacted the composition of their fleet of aircraft.

Dreams of Dreamliners

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) made quite a promise to airlines worldwide: they would build a plane that produced less noise, created a better passenger experience, and would be more economical to run thanks to a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption. With all of these benefits in mind, airlines began to line up to place orders for the 787 Dreamliner. Everyone was excited. The airlines could fly better planes that cost less to operate, and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) could call their 787 program a success.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)

Yet, the Dreamliner did not take off a smoothly as everyone hoped it would. Years of delays, partially caused by The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s strategy of having outside groups build large sections of the plane, reminded airlines that, like their passengers, they cannot expect everything to be on time.

Buses in the air

While The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) was focusing on the 200-290 seat aircraft segment with its 787, Airbus, a subsidiary of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, was busy constructing an airliner that would take the The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) 747’s place as the largest ever flown. The A380 would hold over 500 passengers in two full decks and was already seeing orders from airlines (and one very rich Saudi prince who later sold his private jet) to fly on long distance routes.

But the A380 was not going to arrive at the gate on time either. Delays were blamed on the A380’s lengthy wiring system and deliveries for the first few years were cut to reflect production delays.

One more time

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Airbus have long dominated the airliner market with the exception of regional jets. But Canadian transportation company, Bombardier, Inc. (TSE:BBD.A) is making a move on the narrowbody segment of airliners with its new C Series aircraft. The C Series has many of the same selling points as the Dreamliner (improved fuel economy, better passenger comfort, less noise) but fits into the 110-160 passenger segment. Before the plane has taken its maiden flight, Bombardier, Inc. (TSE:BBD.A) already has orders for more than half its 2014 target.

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