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Boeing 787: The Dreamliner

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 2983 words Published: 14th Apr 2017

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Seeing its market leadership was taken by Airbus, Boeing tried to improve itself and gain advantage over its competitors. Instead of reduces costs and offers a lower price to catch customers, Boeing choose to develop its product to be able to meet customers and market’s requirements. Blue ocean strategy [1] was adopted and came up with the new midsize plane for 200-300 passengers, the Dreamliner or Boeing787. It is made of new material, composite material, instead of aluminum. The Dreamliner perfectly answer customers’ requirements: midsize, long distance, less fuel, high humidity for passenger, short time for flight practicing, and low maintenance cost.

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Since the program launched in late 2003, Boeing787 was placed order for more than 1,000. Even though it was canceled because of the 3 years delay, it is considered the highest pre-sale jetliner. Because the Dreamliner is a big change of an aviation industry, it’s focused by people all around the world. Since it has been delivered in September 2012, people seems appreciate it. However, it was found an engine problem, which Boeing announced later that the problem has been resolved. [2] 

With this successful of innovation creating, Boeing should continue develop the better product to satisfy its customers’ requirements in order to take the market leadership back as well as remain in the position as long as possible, as its vision.

Vision, Mission, Value and Goal

  • Vision: People working together as one global company for aerospace leadership [3] 
  • Mission: To be the number one aerospace company in the world and among the premier industrial concerns in terms of quality, profitability and growth [4] 
  • Value: Boeing wishes to instill in its business embody that of sound business practices and innovation; they will be a key to the continued success of the firm [5] 


  • Continuous improvements in quality of products and processes
  • A highly skilled and motivated workforce
  • Capable and focused management
  • Technical excellence
  • Financial strength
  • Commitment to integrity [6] 

The Dreamliner is the perfect example of blue ocean strategy. The composite material creates a new market for Boeing, while Airbus and other competitors still fight in the old market. The new engine is planned to use Hydrogen [7] as an energy resource. With the new engine, the plane will be able to satisfy customers’ requirements more than before. Boeing has priced the Boeing 787 higher than its competitors; however, the new plane seems provide higher value in other factor of competition:

  • Less fuel cost
  • Farther in distance
  • Faster in speed
  • Bigger space
  • Environmental friendliness [8] 

Organization and Industry Overview

The Boeing Company is part of an aerospace industry. According to its website [9] , Boeing is engaged in the design, development, manufacture, sale and support of commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services.

Boeing is one of the largest global aircraft manufacturers by revenue, orders and deliveries, and the third largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world based on defense-related revenue. Boeing is the largest exporter by value in the United States. The stock of Boeing is a constituent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. [10] 

Boeing has been a premier manufacturer of commercial jetliners for more than 40 years. It was established in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle Washington, and merged with Douglas Aircraft Company (owned by McDonnell Douglas) in 1997 and moved its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago, Illinois in 2001. The merger made the combined company a leadership in commercial aviation. [11] With corporate offices in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries. [12]  After economic crisis in 2008, Boeing’s share price has been moving around $65-$75 per share. Its sales were $68,281 million, $64,306 million, and $68,735 million in 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively. [13] Boeing operates in five segments: Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Military Aircraft, Network & Space Systems, Global Services & Support, and Boeing Capital Corporation. [14] Not only producing airplanes, Boeing also works on producing components for spaceship and designing, producing, modifying and supporting fighters, bombers, transports, rotorcraft, aerial refuelers, missiles, munitions and spacecraft for military, civil and commercial use. [15] However, the main commercial products are the 737, 747, 767 and 777 families of airplanes and the newest products, which are Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the 747-8.

This research aims to focus on Boeing 787, or being called Dreamliner, which made a big change and opportunity of commercial airplane industry. The Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner, which is considered one of the most modern aircraft. Three models were released in order to answer its costumers’ requirements. The three are 787-8, 787-9, and 787-3, which were designed to transport passenger between 210-330 passengers. [16] 

In this past 50 years, commercial airplane industry was non-stop developed in order to be able to respond the higher needs and wants of customers. Rapidly expansion of large airport around the world and dramatically growth of airlines make the aircraft company try to research and develop the airplane that be able to fly a long distance, take a lot of passengers and stuffs, use fuel efficiently, fast and make passengers feel comfortable, which the Dreamliner perfectly answers the requirements. The Dreamliner is a high-innovation airplane; it’s a big change from former aircrafts by using new technologies to answer customers’ needs. The most attractive change is using of a new material; composite material instead of metal, which makes the whole plane lighter, fly faster, use less fuel, less maintenance costs. Moreover the new engine and new system are claimed more efficient. [17] 

While Airbus, the main competitor, was developing the Super Jumbo Jet, A380, Boeing was planning to develop an existing B747 to be more efficient; however, the plan was canceled because of many reasons. Without the 747 plan, a market share of large commercial airplane might be all taken by Airbus, so Boeing started the Dreamliner project with hope to take a market share of modern age commercial airplane back from Airbus.

The supporters of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Internal Capabilities (Strengths)


Boeing understands how innovation is important to its company, so it gives precedence to research and development (R&D). Boeing’s R&D creates new airplanes and new technology, which are partly of Boeing’s strategy to create profits. R&D is considered the most obvious strength of Boeing, because it always shows its high performance and effectiveness. Boeing spends billion dollars each year, amounted to $3.9 billion, $4.1 billion and $6.5 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. [18] 

Famous brand

Boeing is one of the world’s largest aerospace companies and it is in the industry since 1916. The brand name is instilled in the mind of the customers, then it would be a major choice when purchasing and lead to higher sales. [19] 

Diversified business offering

Boeing is one of the world’s largest aerospace companies and a leading manufacturer of commercial jet aircraft as well as defense, space and security systems. Boeing has its own manufacturing plant, which is allow it to have many product lines. It provides commercial aircrafts, military aircrafts, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training service. The diversify business offering allow it to have broader target customers and will be able to make more profit. [20] 

External Environment (Opportunities)

Energy saving and environment friendly trend

As the price of gasoline keeps rising, and people become more and more concern about environment, “green business” is gaining in popularity. So do companies in aviation industry. IATA sets a goal to create zero-emissions airplane within 50 years. [21] However, the Dreamliner is designed perfectly fit to the trends. It would be a good choice for customers.

Mid-sized airplane and non-stop flight trend

Since non-stop flight costs an airline less than intermediate stops at hubs, airlines prefer to work on non-stop flight. [22] However, planes that are able fly cross continentals have to be large, and it doesn’t seem work when the number of passenger become less. The main feature of the Dreamliner is that combining big-jet distance ranges to mid-size airplanes, so it is a good choice for airlines that perfectly answer the requirements.

Asian market expansion

Many airlines and aviation companies are all agree that Asian market is expanding and becomes the biggest market for commercial aircraft. [23] Since the market is expanding, the demand is rising as well.

Competitive advantage of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Support from Washington state government

Boeing 787 had been offered lots of support from its local area of manufacture, and state government. [24] Since Boeing manufacturing plant is located in Seattle, Washington. Washington state realizes Boeing plant creates many job positions to local people [25] , so the state provides business friendly environment to Boeing in order to keep Boeing plant there, by providing the company low-interest loans, tax breaks, and research grants.

Diversified business offering

There is not only only commercial aircraft, Boeing also offers many products in many fields. So, it is able to serves customers in wider range. [26] 

Strong name and brand

Since the name is well known, it will be the first choice when they’re working on decision process, which might lead to purchase decision.

High-innovation planes

To be different from competitors, Boeing always uses innovation to develop its product, and it becomes a great innovation plane.

High liquidity in funding process

Since Boeing has an ability to create a plane that perfectly fit customers’ requirements, investors foresees its sales and profitability and invest in Boeing. Boeing spends money from the investment to R&D in order to create a new technology and a new product, and it’s continuing as a cycle.

What strategy the Boeing 787 implements to become successful?

Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS)

Boeing is developing on new technology continually, even though it was just successful from using composite material. The Dreamliner is a big change of aviation industry; however, because of gas price trend, it would be great, if the engine can be developed to use other source of energy instead of gasoline, such as Hydrogen. The picture on the left is the BOS framework. [27] http://lombardglobal.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Picture-11.png

Figure1: Blue Ocean Framework

Figure3: Blue Ocean StrategyReduce: Total weight of the plane

Since Hydrogen is lighter than gasoline, and gives more energy at the same volume. So, the plane will not have to carry a big tank of gasoline.

Eliminate: Carbon dioxide

Since the end result of using Hydrogen is water, so it will not cause carbon dioxide, which is a concerning environmental problem.

Raise: Speed and range

Hydrogen gives 3 times more energy than gasoline [28] , and much less in weight as well. So, the new plane will be able to fly faster and longer.

Create: New environmental friendly innovation plane. Hydrogen will not cause a carbon dioxide, so it’s much more environmental friendly.

Comments and Conclusions

The overall image, Boeing is doing well, because it keeps improving its products. The Dreamliner itself is considered great satisfy its customers’ requirements: midsize, long distance, less fuel, high humidity for passenger, short time for flight practicing, and low maintenance cost. Moreover it’s an environmental friendly plane, which perfectly responds the current trend.

While the Dreamliner was in developing process, it has had some big problems to fix, such as engine problem. [29] The company was trying its best to solve the problem and rebuild reliance from its customers. At the same time, the company was working hard to solve a delay problem, which is the most serious problem for Boeing.

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However, after few years of manufacturing delay and engine development, Boeing 787 is now officially launched to public. [30] In my point of view, Boeing the Dreamliner will become a successful plane in a short future; especially, if it continues on using blue ocean strategy as I mentioned before. It will become a new standard of innovation aircraft, and will raise a standard of the whole industry in the future as well. According to airwise news [31] , I think that Boeing will gain a fast growth in the next 20 years by keep developing innovations in aerospace industry, and expanding its market around the world. Nevertheless, although the market is very difficult for new company entry, there are some small companies out there in the market. They might be ready to fight for some market shares, as they foresee profitability from this investment. Besides, new innovations are also spread out very fast in this modern business world: to maintain the differentiation will be harder in the future. Therefore, Boeing should focus on new technologies and innovations all the time in order to prevent the new competitors, and the most important is to enlarge customers’ preference.


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