Moody's Investors Service believes that Airbus is "catching up" to Boeing in the fiercely competitive war for market share of new widebody aircraft.
"Boeing and Airbus mostly split the hotly contested large commercial aircraft market, but the relatively younger Airbus has been gaining share (particularly in narrowbodies) and winning the new order and delivery battles over most of the past decade," says Russell Solomon, Moody's senior vice president and lead analyst in a research note today.
Solomon notes while Boeing "turned the tide" of Airbus encroachment in 2012 (with 787s seeing their first full year of production and order commitments from 2011 firming up for the forthcoming 737 Max), Airbus has been gaining share against the more entrenched Boeing for much of the recent past.
"Now, with recent set-backs to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner programme following the temporary grounding of that aircraft by the US Federal Aviation Administration, Airbus likely has a window of opportunity to reinvigorate sales of its competing A350 widebody that is due to enter service late next year, and orders for which have been somewhat lacking over the past couple of years," adds Solomon.
Moody's cited the 4 February $9 billion (list price) order from Los Angeles-based Air Lease for next generation Airbus aircraft as a noteworthy development to watch in support of its supposition.