Dissection of Boeing’s 2015 order book

737 MAX OrdersJan. 12, 2016, © Leeham Co. Boeing announced its year-end 2015 orders tally, with 768 net orders and 878 gross orders. It is becoming increasingly clear the 737 MAX is essentially a one-aircraft family.

As expected, 737NG orders are declining, but Boeing won an important order from Delta Air Lines for the 737-900ER. There were no orders for the 737-700 and the 737-800 remains the backbone of the NG family.

There were no orders last year for the 7 MAX. There were four commercial orders for the 9 MAX plus one -9 BBJ. There were 400 orders for the commercial -8 MAX and four -8 BBJs. This means 99% of the MAX sales were for the -8 MAX and just 1% for the -9 MAX (Figure 1).

The -9 MAX nonetheless currently accounts for about 9% of the MAX backlog (Figure 2.)

Max backlog

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The aging 737-900ER did better last year than its upgraded successor, though this model still represents a small percentage of sales. There were 199 737-800s sold last year (85% of the total NGs) and just 35 -900ERS (15%). The -900ER currently accounts for slightly less than 8% of the NG sales. It represents 12% of the current NG backlog, with the -800 accounting for 85% and the -700 just 3%.

787 2015 orders

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The 787 is becoming increasingly a two-member family. There were only eight sales of the 787-8 and six of these are known to be the Terrible Teens, built early in the production line. These are for Ethiopian Airlines. Two 787-8 BBJs were sold and two for Air Austral. We don’t know if any of these were from the Terrible Teens.

There are now just 162 787-8s in backlog, a number now matched by the 787-10. There are 455 787-9s in backlog, for a total of 779. Fifty-eight percent of the backlog is for the 787-9, 21% for the -8 and 21% for the -10. (Figure 3.)


777 2015 orders

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The 777 Classic sales did not meet the low-end threshold Boeing has identified as necessary to successfully bridge the gap between the Classic and the 777X without reducing the production rate beyond the previously announced 7/mo, down from the current 8.3/mo.

Boeing sold 38 Classics last year, comprised of 22 -300ERs and 16 freighters. Boeing also sold 20 777Xs. (Figure 4.)

Airbus announced its year-end order details today. LNC will have a similar analysis breakdown later this week.

9 Comments on “Dissection of Boeing’s 2015 order book

    • I think the only reason the 739er is doing OK is because Delta most likely got an ‘opportunistic’ price on their new order, they are well known for scooping deals on last-gen planes. Boeing discounting heavily to keep the -9 sales looking alright would not surprise me. Even so, DL also has 45 A321s in the pipeline.

  1. http://www.pdxlight.com gives a total 219 orders for the MAX-9.

    Of those ~half (100) are for United. If they go A321, like all their direct competitors, I’m not sure these -9s will become -8s . UA is important enough to change their mind unpunished or has contract appendices.

    Unnoticed; 737MAX-9 Launching Customer LionAir seems to have quietly moved to -8s recently, while ordering A321s.

    “Providing additional clarity about the delivery priority in the Lion Air MAX order, Beverly Wyse, Boeing’s vice president and general manager for the 737 program said, “Lion Air is the 737-9 [MAX] launch customer and will be the first to fly the MAX in Asia.”


  2. All in all .an off year in terms of sales . I look for a strong showing for both 787-10,as well as new orders for the 777x..
    It’s only a matter of time before Singapore and BA come on board

  3. I’m sure many MAX 8 are placeholders for the MAX 9. What’s the advantage of the 8 over the 9 other than for short runways like Chicago Midway? Otherwise, take advantage of maximum floor area for all aircraft over 150 seats, be that the MAX 9 or the A321.

    • The longer fuselage, low slung MAX needs almost 12,000 ft of runway to take off with a full load.

      • True, but for medium distance routes and multi-class cabins with less load, the MAX 9 will offer 12 more seats. I could see American switching to the MAX 9 for the bulk of their deliveries, just like Alaska and United.

        • @Ted: American likes the 737-8. It does not like the 737-9, preferring the A321neo.

  4. I think the -9 airfield performance makes that you have to consider a sizeable list of airports that you cannot serve efficiently. Many hot and/or high ones, for the next 25 yrs. With a significantly better machine (almost all respects) flown by the competitors. Becomes a hard to defend investment in the boardroom.

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