The famed Airbus “5th Quarter”–huge LionAir buy reported

We talked about this a month of more ago: the prospect LionAir would order 100 Airbus A320 family aircraft. Today (or was it yesterday, in Asia?) comes this report that LionAir signed an order in December for as many as 220 A320neos (with PW GTF engines, we understand).

Through November Airbus recorded a net of 585 orders, compared with Boeing’s year-end total of 1,200. Reuters believes Airbus will end 2012 with around 900 orders.

LionAir has been exclusively a Boeing customer.

Update, Jan. 10: Avolon (a lessor) announced today it signed an order for 20 additional A320s in December.

22 Comments on “The famed Airbus “5th Quarter”–huge LionAir buy reported

  1. Airbus is not reporting this on their own PR page.

    http://www.airbus.com/presscentre/pressreleases/

    They are reporting an order for 5 X A-320NEOs and 5 X A-321NEOs for MEA.

    http://www.airbus.com/presscentre/pressreleases/press-release-detail/detail/middle-east-airlines-firms-up-order-for-ten-a320neo-family-aircraft/

    The Lion order has been reported over on a.net, and like the EK “order” for 30 X A-380s, some are wetting their pants over it.

    Why would Lion order A-320NEOs with the P&W GTF when they also have the B-737MAX on order with the CFMI LEAP engines?

    • Of course it is not reported; it’s being held for the Airbus press conference Jan. 17…

      Maybe LionAir is ordering both for the same reason American did….

    • Nobody ever said it was firm or claimed it was being reported by Airbus. Not here, not on anet, and not in the linked article. Sorry, KC, maybe you need to step outside for some fresh air… it seems not only the 787 suffered from a thermal runaway.

  2. It is only a rumor (Or a leak) from the Tolosan edition from Dépêche du Midi, spreading everywhere in France from this morning !

    No confirmation !
    And may be the numbers, 200 or more, include a lot of options !
    Lion Air CEO either do not want to confirm …
    Please don’t ruin the next John Leahy 5th quarter Show !

  3. I like the “fifth-quarter” label, which rather reminds me of the 1980 first flight of the Lear Fan composites bizav design — announced as having occured on December, er, 32nd, 1980…

  4. not sure why Airbus announces in the 5th quarter. Is there a business reason related to customers? Boeing doesn’t do this.

    • The “5th Quarter” was coined several years ago before Airbus set a standard date for its year-end review and orders announcement. Final year tallies were usually then announced at the end of January and often had enough orders to overtake Boeing’s year-end tally. Boeing sort of snickered and called it Leahy’s “5th Quarter,” supposedly waiting to see how many orders he needed to “back-date” (or so it was claimed) to beat Boeing.

      This is one of those terms that became folklore and doesn’t really apply anymore since Airbus began holding its year-end press conference on a set date in the thirds week of January. But it’s fun to refer back to it.

  5. Hello,
    Not sure, but having read GTF for the engines… is ti surprising ?
    And wether orders are between the 1 jan and 31 december, or between the 17 jan to 16 jan,it’s a full 365 year (or 366 sometimes)

  6. “how many orders he needed to “back-date” (or so it was claimed) to beat Boeing”

    That would work for 1 year I guess.. and the customers also have something to say in this. Non-sense I guess.

  7. JL is a pretty shrewd operator.
    My guess is that he has ceded 2012 to Boeing and all these new orders will be credited to 2013.
    What a start!!

  8. It seems Avolon increase from 15 to 20 a previous A320 NEO order, ! And confirmed it !
    So … only a 5 units top up !

  9. What on earth is Lion Air going to do with all these planes? These are the same guys who ordered 200 MAXs in 2011. Do they seriously think they’re going to be able to sustain a quadrupling of their fleet size over the next decade (their current fleet is less than 100 planes).

    • Brian :
      What on earth is Lion Air going to do with all these planes? These are the same guys who ordered 200 MAXs in 2011. Do they seriously think they’re going to be able to sustain a quadrupling of their fleet size over the next decade (their current fleet is less than 100 planes).

      I wouldnt say that it is impossible because thats the airbus style, we all know about their press relations and how they handle their big news. It would not surprise me at all if leahy starts talking on the conference saying that their aim was 640 sales but we did 900 in the last 12 months…
      But i gotta say same thoughts about the operator, how can Lion Air with 95 planes in operation going to raise their total orders on 550 ?! thats about 560% of their current fleet…

  10. I said it earlier that Boeing lead over airbus was short lived if not a fluke. Airbus will retake the lead in every respect and beat boeing hands down in the narrow body market.
    This is because of Boeing refusal to adapt to market.
    By not offering the MAX with a PW engine, boeing handed a cake to airbus.
    Secondly, boeing will have no answer whatsoever to a 235 seat A321neo.
    The enginges of the 737-9 are not powerful enough to accomodate increased MTOW.
    Should the 235 seat A321neo become a reality, Airliners will jump onto it like bees and Boeing will just have to count its loses.

  11. Le bon vivant :
    I said it earlier that Boeing lead over airbus was short lived if not a fluke. Airbus will retake the lead in every respect and beat boeing hands down in the narrow body market.

    This is because of Boeing refusal to adapt to market.
    By not offering the MAX with a PW engine, boeing handed a cake to airbus.
    Secondly, boeing will have no answer whatsoever to a 235 seat A321neo.
    The enginges of the 737-9 are not powerful enough to accomodate increased MTOW.
    Should the 235 seat A321neo become a reality, Airliners will jump onto it like bees and Boeing will just have to count its loses.

    “was short lived if not a fluke”

    Please feel free to offer Any, Any, Any POSSIBILITY how AB will accomplish this with their currant projected production rates?? Airbus Will be out produced by their own statements for at least the next 3-4 years! Fluke? I think Not…

    You falling back to the NB market? Is that because you have ceded the WB market to Boeing?

    • Would be accomplished by keeping A320 current engine option production at 42 per month in 2012, 2014 and 2015 (no point in increasing production rate of the current product), and then radically increase production to, say, 70 units per month by late 2019. An 80 percent hike in the production volume of A320s over 3-4 years is actually less ambitious than what Boeing is now trying to do with the 787 by going from 5 to 10 units per month in just one year (i.e. a 100 percent hike in the production volume).

      • Are you sure the supply chain for the A-320 can support a rate of 70 per month? Boeing has talked about increasing the rate of B-737 production to 62 per month, but will not do that until the supply chain can support that. Airbus has also been talking about 60 per month, including the Mobile FAL, but again the supply chain has limitations.

        That is much different than trying to double production rates from 5 to 10 per month.

      • While ten 787s/month is what Boeing always planned to do within two years of start-up, don’t forget that the current projected ten/month is with two lines rather than the single line originally planned. IIRR, Boeing began by saying it could assemble a 787 in three days: do that on two lines and pretty soon you’re eating into your backlog…

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