As Boeing (NYSE: BA) And Airbus Battle, China Walks In A Side Door

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Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Airbus go toe to tor for almost very major commercial airline contract in the world. They haul each other into court over international trade practice questions. For pure blood sport, the competition can hardly be matched.

Over the course of the last week, the battle between the two companies moved up a notch as the Air Force gave a $35 billion tanker program to Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) and EADS, the parent of Airbus. Members of Congress may try to keep the deal with Boeing and the issue should be messy for several months.

While Boeing and Airbus beat the living daylights out of one another, China is planning to begin to build its own large commercial aircraft. China is one of the biggest markets for the two airplane company leaders, and as the need of big jets there increases, the Asian company was going to be a meal ticket that might last for decades.

Things are not going as planned. According to The Wall Street Journal "China has confirmed plans to set up a company to make large passenger airplanes." The paper also writes that Boeing thinks China will need over 3,300 new jets by 2026.

China could be making its own planes by then, leaving Boeing and Airbus to bicker over military contracts.

Douglas A. McIntyre