In depth 

Up in the air

Up in the air

There are two combatants in the battle for the skies. One is an American thoroughbred – Boeing (US:BA), the brainchild of timber entrepreneur William Boeing, which has already seen off a fleet of challengers. For much of its 103-year history, it duelled with McDonnell Douglas (itself a marriage of two competitors) before buying the domestic rival in 1997 in a shock $16.3bn (£13.5bn) deal.

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