Boeing retains net order lead going into last month of year

Dec. 5, 2014: Boeing retains the lead in net orders going into the last month of this year, although the gap has narrowed considerably–and there are a couple of public campaigns and commitments Airbus has announced or talked about that could shift the year-end balance.

Boeing has been less open about pending campaigns, so it is harder to gauge potential orders this month.

Airbus YTD Orders Nov 2014

Figure 1. Click image to enlarge.

Year to date, Airbus reports 1,031 net orders and 297 cancellations, including the 70 A350s canceled in June by Emirates Airlines. Boeing 1,274 orders net of 106 cancellations, for a net advantage of 234 orders over Airbus. Airbus previously announced a commitment from Indigo Airlines of India for 250 A320neos and it continues to press China for an order of 70-200 A330 Regionals. Airbus also said it expects an order before the end of the year for the A321neoLR, but the quantity has not been specified.

Boeing YTD Orders Nov 2014

Figure 2. Click image to enlarge.

Boeing has said it hopes to win a sizable order from Avianca for the 737 MAX, but we’ve had soft indications this has gone to Airbus.

Boeing’s total was boosted nicely by converting the launch order commitments for the 777X announced at the 2013 Dubai Air Show into firm orders.

Boeing won 57 orders for the 777 Classic, including the 10 from Kuwait Airways, which we don’t believe have yet been inked but which are included above. Fifty seven was the figure announced by David Muilenburg, president and COO of Boeing, at the Credit conference this week.

Airbus Boeing Net Orders YTD Nov 2014

Figure 3. Click on image to enlarge. The 787-10 and A330-300/900 are sized against the 777-200 Series, which has had no orders this year.

In Figure 3, we’ve combined the orders from Airbus and Boeing into one slide and grouped the airplanes into their respective competing categories for comparison.

YTD Airbus and Boeing are about even on single-aisle airplanes and Boeing, aided by the Emirates cancellation of the A350 and its own 777X conversion to from commitments to orders, clearly wins the twin-aisle sector. Airbus converted only 15 of the 121 A330neo commitments announced at the Farnborough Air Show into firm orders through November. We don’t believe it will convert the remainder to firm orders by year-end, though some might convert.

Boeing will announce its year-end orders summary January 8. Airbus will announce its year-end tally at its annual press conference the next week.


29 Comments on “Boeing retains net order lead going into last month of year

  1. Stop the presses! You mean that noncompetitive, family of one 737 is outselling the A320 this year? And AW published a piece online today that says all 3 major domestic carriers are waiting to figure out what to do for a 757 replacement.

    Does the A320 order total also include the huge Indigo order?

    I thought Boeing was to be boxed in on the 787 and 777 lines by the A350 and A330NEO. It seems the A350-1000 order surge is yet to happen.

    • As the article said (if you had read it), the Indigo order is not included. The “boxing” on the widebodies comes from adjustments in productions from 2017/18, not this year. And the boxing for single-aisles comes when the A321neoLR becomes a real program.

      In gross orders, Airbus sold 1,173 A320 Family. Boeing sold 1,062 737 Family.

  2. It is said there are some A333R under negociation in China. Not sure about the numbers.

  3. First I am dying to see the A380 used price situation!

    It would seem that the numbers should wait until the deals are signed (or not) at the end of the year.

    Airbus has always been pretty “innovative” in how they spin theirs, Boeing in the past has not suddenly come up with signed deals that were not signed.,

    As noted on more than one occaision, the real benchmarks should be delivered aircraft per year, not the sales.

    Sales that stretch out past 2020 in one case vs sales that are shorter term are a baseless short term comparison and long term other than a feel for a program senseless as other factors will weight in (economic bust of a burst, new programs, as well as fuel prices falling or increasing)

    As I recall, last year 737 deliveries were 47% vs 53% Airbus A320 series.

    Not 60/40 in favor of Airbus and not 50/50 per Boeing.

    On the twins everyone is trying to get the best deal they can vs the mfg getting the best offering and the slow A330NEO sales sighing is no more an issue than the 787-10 singing as both are a long ways out from delivery and no one needs to jump. The ones that are interested have their positions staked out and those will firm up on their own timeline not our interest.

    • Airbus has always been pretty “innovative” in how they spin theirs, Boeing in the past has not suddenly come up with signed deals that were not signed.

      Another one of those myths that some people refuse to let die, regardless of how many times it’s been disproven.
      Airbus have never included non-firm orders in their firm order books and reports. Both Airbus and Boeing have occasionally used “orders and commitments” numbers to make their own product look a bit better – usually just after a product is launched as specs and contracts are still worked on. Boeing did that after MAX and 777X launch, Airbus did it this year after A330neo launch.
      One thing Boeing seems to do a lot more than Airbus is booking “Unidentified” orders, but I believe that’s mostly down to the individual contracts and embargo dates, not Boeing having a preference for booking stuff as “Unidentified”.

  4. I think Boeing are wishful if they think they will get Avianca, 737 field performance in Colombian conditions? Unless they get something for the TACA arm?

    • Boeing unidentified customers have 338 737 NGs and 554 MAXs on order. That’s about 20% of the NG backlog and 25% of the MAX backlog.

      A320neo has only 60 unidentified A320 neo orders. Why such a huge difference between A and B? Is there a reason 737 buyers don’t want to be identified? How solid are unidentified orders in general?

      • We believe at least 200 737s are for “China Inc.”* There are often political considerations when revealing these orders. Beyond that, we don’t have an understanding on the huge number of 737 Unidentifieds, either.

        *China Classic? China Neo? ChinaX?

        • If that is true there are significantly less further orders expect able from China for 737 of any ilk.

    • I already asked Scott about this huge “unidentified” volume of 737.

      About a month ago … his answer was that these 737 are true signed orders !!!

      • They probably are real signed orders, yes, otherwise BA wouldn’t classify them as such.

        But without knowing the buyer, it’s impossible to know how risky the order is, is it like an order from Lufthansa or one from AirAsiaX?

      • I think there is a difference in signed orders and signed contracts.

        An airline being unsure about e.g. certification, supply chain, EIS date, its own network and oil/competition developments can propose a contract reducing its own risk.

        Adding conditions, exclusions, escapes, anonimity, etc. The seller won’t be very happy with that. But may accept more if he wants/needs the order real bad.

        Supply & demand.

  5. Great summary charts Scott. Nice and simple without non-value added frills which is exactly the way to do them.

    One editorial comment. I notice you always insist on using “777 Classic”. Boeing doesn’t use that term to describe its 777 family. That is fine as it is your prerogative as a publisher. However, on the other hand you use “A330 CEO” which is straight from Airbus Marketing in Toulouse. If you want to be perceived as unbiased then you should be evenhanded and use “A330 Classic” or drop the “777 Classic”. Just my two cents.

    • Until Airbus launched the A330ceo, naming it such, at the Farnborough Air Show, we indeed called what is now the “ceo” the “Classic.” We’ve chosen to call the 777-200ER, -200LR and -300ER the “Classic” as a matter of convenience and to easily distinguish it from the 777X. And FWIW, many of the Wall Street aerospace analysts do the same. Airbus has yet to name what we coined as the A321neoLR, which is now being used by analysts.

      We been accused many times of bias, but this is the first time in this context…. 🙂

    • @BrandonO, what is the preferred term, then, for the current series of 777s? 777nonX? Ur-777?

    • It corresponds how OEM named their aircraft in the past.
      a320ceo. 737 Classic.

    • FWIW, Airbus has never used the Boeing -ER and -LR designations. For example, the increased range version of the A300-600 was designated the A300-600R; the increased range versions of the A330-200/-300 and the A340-200/-300/-500/-600 were designated the A330-200HGW/A330-300HGW and the A340-8000 (i.e. only one version built), A340-300E, A340-500HGW/-600HGW, respectively (i.e. HGW =Higher Gross Weight).

      IMJ, therefore, Airbus will — in all likelihood — not use the -LR designation for the 3900nm ranged, 97 tonne A321neo higher gross weight version. Hence, your accusation of bias on the part of Leeham News naturally falls to the ground.

      • A321 started life officially as A321-100, later on the A321-200 offers more thrust, range and fuel capacity.

        To be consistent A321NEO could be the name the “A321-300” and A321 neoLR could get “A321-300R” (Like The A350-900R and A380-800R being mentioned by Airbus as longer range versions of those types)

        Btw, I noticed a new Airbus video on the space flex galley that are behind the +6 seats on A320 models. In Europe, where flights are short, so catering limited, the biggest A320 operators are already signing up and 2015 will see many retrofits.

  6. ‘Boeing will announce its year-end orders summary January 8. Airbus will announce its year-end tally at its annual press conference the next week’.

    Are these reversed? It is usually Boeing that announces order tallies in December, followed by Airbus in January (the famed 5th quarter).

    • Boeing updates its Orders and Deliveries every Thursday; This year Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day) falls on the first Thursday so we figure the following week.

  7. I make it that Airbus has around 360 unfirmed committments that may yet be signed by year en, which would probably swing the balance in their favour. Whoever wins the Avianca deal, if it comes this month, is the likely winner. But, as everyone says, most production is or soon will be, neck and neck, and it will be whoever has to start winding down first as their backlogs diminish will be the eventual winner.

    • The eventual winner will be whoever doesn’t have to start winding down first as their backlog doesn’t diminish!Also the one with the best replacement strategy and above all the one that makes the most money.Don’t worry Boeing fans,although Airbus has a slightly better position, it’s still not easy and they can easily mess it up

    • “I make it that Airbus has around 360 unfirmed committments”

      I make it even more than that, but either way, they potentially have enough to “win” this year’s order race. However, I’d be very surprised if all those were firmed in December.

  8. The debate over the nomenclature used by Airbus and Boeing really isn’t Germaine. How about getting back to the whole issue of orders?


  9. I remember a while ago the 787-10 would give the A350 a run for its money and replace the A330 on medium haul. The news CASM champ. No -10 orders sofar this year. Remarkable. I guess the range flexibility of the 787-9 is more popular.

    • I think two things Play a Major role in this: A) 787-10 is still way into the future and limited to Charleston. B) Boing is not willing to give much Discount on either 787-9 or especially not 787-10, because they desparately need higher prices for the 787 to bring the huge accumulated production cost of 25 Billion $ down.

    • I believe there have been some conversions of existing -9 orders to -10s. United Airlines that I’m aware of.

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