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How Airbus became Boeing's greatest rival

Business Insider Logo By Benjamin Zhang of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 39: Over the past 20 years, the commercial aviation industry has come to be dominated by Airbus and Boeing.Airbus and Boeing each own roughly 50% of the global commercial airliner market.Airbus is relatively new when compared to Boeing. While Boeing has been around since 1916, the Airbus consortium did not come together until 1970.Airbus currently boasts a production backlog of nearly 7,200 planes while Boeing's backlog is around 5,900 aircraft.Airbus versus Boeing is one of the great rivalries in business today. On par with the likes of Coke versus Pepsi or Ford versus GM. However, it wasn't always this way. Not that long ago, the world of commercial aviation was filled with names like McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, Fokker, and even Convair.  But these days, if you fly, it'll probably be either an Airbus or a Boeing. Boeing is the elder statesman of the two. Founded in 1916, the Boeing Company is now an aerospace and defense juggernaut that is America's largest industrial exporter.  The company we know today as Airbus can trace its history back to an agreement signed in July 1967 by the French, German, and British governments to strengthen their cooperation in the filed aviation technology. Included in the agreement is a clause that called for the governments to "to take appropriate measures for the joint development and production of an airbus." It was a decision made out of necessity, Richard Aboulafia, an aviation industry analyst for the consulting company Teal Group, told Business Insider.  At the time, American firms like Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, and Lockheed were growing in strength and influence around the world. European manufacturers, once commercial aviation's leaders in innovation, were feeling the pinch.  Together they formed a consortium called Airbus to counter the might of America's aviation giants.  The consortium would be based at the headquarters of Sud Aviation in Toulouse, France where it remains today.  Here's a closer look at how Airbus became Boeing's greatest rival:

Airbus versus Boeing is one of the great rivalries in business today. On par with the likes of Coke versus Pepsi or Ford versus GM.

However, it wasn't always this way. Not that long ago, the world of commercial aviation was filled with names like McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, Fokker, and even Convair.

But these days, if you fly, it'll probably be either an Airbus or a Boeing.

Boeing is the elder statesman of the two. Founded in 1916, the Boeing Co. is now an aerospace and defense juggernaut that is America's largest industrial exporter.

The company we know today as Airbus can trace its history back to an agreement signed in July 1967 by the French, German and British governments to strengthen their cooperation in the filed aviation technology.

Included in the agreement is a clause that called for the governments to "to take appropriate measures for the joint development and production of an airbus."

It was a decision made out of necessity, Richard Aboulafia, an aviation industry analyst for the consulting company Teal Group, told Business Insider.

At the time, American firms like Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed were growing in strength and influence around the world. European manufacturers, once commercial aviation's leaders in innovation, were feeling the pinch.

Together they formed a consortium called Airbus to counter the might of America's aviation giants.

The consortium would be based at the headquarters of Sud Aviation in Toulouse, France where it remains today.

Click ahead for a closer look at how Airbus became Boeing's greatest rival.

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