The arena of civil aircraft is much wider than the flying machines used by military. The scale of operation of civil air traffic is several times more than the military air operations. At any given point of times thousands of aircraft are somewhere in the sky taking passengers from one corner of the globe to other.
Two aviation giants control the civil aviation domain: Boeing of the US and the European Airbus. Boeing has been producing commercial jets for more than four decades, and Airbus followed into the field later but soon became a stiff competitor. Together, the two big companies have designed and produced a wide array of aircraft with different capacities. They match each other in every segment.
If Boeing got a head start when its 737 model became a huge hit, the Airbus launched A-320 and introduced fly-by-wire technology. The move forced Boeing to come up with a new generation state-of-the-art 737s with a distinct looks thanks to the winglets. This is the story of just one segment. The two companies fiercely compete in different sizes of aircraft. If Boeing ruled the roost for several years in heavy aircraft section as its 747, popularly known as Jumbo, fascinated the flyers, Airbus has introduced mammoth A-380 which forced airports around world to widen its runways. Apart from the big commercial airliners, a large number of civil traffic comprises small and medium size aircraft.
There is a wide array of aircraft in this category and several players have established themselves in the business. There is an increasing trend of executive jets, which fly the rich and the mighty. Business houses around the world have their own fleet. Flying from one city to another for business conferences or pleasure is no more a luxury. According to estimates, this market is going to boom.
The civil aviation scene has seen many ups and downs and due to heavy costs of operation, it has often passed through recession. Big airlines have folded but new ones have joined the business. There is still enough in store despite aviation fuel getting costlier.