Top Airbus, Boeing shift to LCCs, away from legacy carriers

Here is a story we did last week for Flight Global Pro.

With huge orders last year for the Airbus A320neo family and this year for the Boeing 737 Max, the top customers for the Big Two OEMs continue the shift from the traditional “blue chip” airlines, but upstart low-cost carriers and Middle East airlines.

Air Asia and Indigo, two LCCs, are now the top two customers in terms of backlog for Airbus, with Qatar Airways and Emirates Airlines having the fourth and fifth largest unfilled orders. Only Qantas Airways of the legacy carriers hits the Top 5 for Airbus. After this flag carrier, the next legacy carrier—US Airways—comes in at only #14. Lessors, other LCCs and Latin America’s TAM (founded in 1961) and Lan (1929) are the top customers for Airbus.

Boeing is a slightly different story, driven by its long dominance of the US market. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines are legacy carriers that are in the Top 10. But Upstarts Lion Air and Norwegian Air Shuttle are Boeing’s first and third top customers with legacy LCC Southwest Airlines ranked second.

Aengus Kelly, CEO of AerCap, worried in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the large orders placed by the newer airlines won’t be filled, and that the orders contribute to over-production by Airbus and Boeing. He specifically identified Lion Air and Norwegian Air Shuttle as having ordered to many airplanes for their future needs. Norwegian’s recent order for Boeing 737s is reflected in the Boeing customer list but not yet reflected in the Airbus list. NAS announced an order for 100 A320neos, which would thrust it to a Top 15 position with Airbus.

Airbus Top 25 Customers-Jan. 2012  

1

Air Asia

277

2

Indigo

226

3

Qantas Airways

156

4

Qatar Airways

147

5

Emirates

140

6

GECAS

136

7

ILFC

120

8

TAM

108

9

Spirit Airlines

105

10

ALAFCO*

104

11

Wizz Air

101

12

JetBlue

91

13

LAN

89

14

US Airways

88

15

CIT Aerospace

87

16

Lufthansa

81

16

Aviation Capital Group

80

18

Republic Airways Holdings

80

19

Go Air

79

20

China Eastern

78

21

AWAS

72

22

United Airlines

67

23

Hong Kong Airlines

64

24

Virgin America

60

25

China Southern Airlines

58

25

Volaris

58

* Includes orders firmed in February 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Boeing Top 25 Customers-Jan. 2012

1

Lion Air*

351

2

Southwest Airlines

350

3

Norwegian Air Shuttle*

302

4

American Airlines

151

5

Delta Air Lines

118

6

ILFC

111

7

GOL

91

8

Air Lease Corp

87

9

Emirates

86

10

Continental

81

11

GECAS

79

12

Aviation Capital Group

76

13

Air China

71

14

All Nippon Airways

66

15

China Southern

64

16

Qantas

63

16

Jet Airways*

63

18

Air Berlin

62

19

Virgin Australia

53

20

Etihad

52

21

Russian Technologies

50

21

Japan Airlines*

50

21

CIT Leasing

50

24

Qatar

44

25

FedEx

42

* Includes orders firmed in February 2012

4 Comments on “Top Airbus, Boeing shift to LCCs, away from legacy carriers

  1. Hi Scott,
    dont forget that Qantas isn’t a dyed in the wool classic with LCC Jetstar takting a good chunk of the orders

  2. If we do a kind of comparison of customer numbers by world regions for Airbus(A) and Boeing (B):
    Asia A6-B7, Australia A1-B2, Europe A3-B2, Middle-East A2-B3, Russia A0-B1, South America A2-B0, USA A6-B5 and lessors A6-B5
    there is no big difference. At least from the Top 25 lists (which actually include 26 customers for Airbus :)). They do share the market.

  3. Lan and TAM are merged, that ought to boost them up into the top 5 for Airbus.

  4. I think the classic division between LCC and Legacy Carrier doesn’t really fit for “emerging markets”. Honestly, this whole order-thing becomes increasingly a stunt with little touch to reality. Airbus and Boeing are simply producing aircraft and will hand them to the guy able to pick them up. Given the low level of customization in a single aisle (and the limited lead time) you can shift an order 4 month in advance of delivery.

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