Oct. 17, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Boeing had a very good week for wide-body orders last week. It recorded 42 orders for the 787 and 10 for the 777-300ER.
Thirty of the former and all of the latter came from Qatar Airways. There were 12 787 orders from “Unidentified,” which in this case was from China Southern Airlines. These were announced Wednesday but too late to show up on the weekly orders update posted Thursday.
For the year, Boeing has 61 net orders for the 787, a healthy increase since the end of June, when the book-to-bill was a paltry 0.25 YTD. Even at 61, this is still a book:bill of just 0.42 for the 787, which has not had a book:bill of more than one since 2013. This means Boeing continues to burn off the backlog faster than it is booking new orders.
But it’s welcome news nevertheless in a year when there has been a dearth of wide-body orders.
The Qatar 777-300ER orders were also welcome, bringing the YTD net orders to 16—well short of this year’s target of 40-50.
The lack of Classic orders continues to prompt aerospace analysts to predict that Boeing will have to announce a further rate reduction for the 777 line in advance of 777X production, which begins in 2018. Boeing previously announced a rate of 7/mo (from 8.3) but with an actual delivery rate in 2018 of 5.5. The difference comes from starting production on the 777X and “shooting blanks” as part of the transition from the Classic to the X.
But aerospace analysts seem to have a consensus that rate 4/mo is likely. Morgan Stanley is more pessimistic, at just 3.5/mo.
Bombardier struggles on as deliveries of the CSeries are delayed due to slow engine deliveries from Pratt & Whitney.
The regional jet program, which was neglected during the development of the CSeries, has been eclipsed by the Embraer E-Jet and will be challenged by the Mitsubishi MRJ. BBD plans to throw some money at the CRJ to upgrade it.
But Mitsubishi plans to launch its 70-seat MRJ70 service in 2019, followed by the prospect of an MRJ100.
Or so it says. Delays with the MRJ90 may slip EIS to 2019 from mid-2018. This remains to be seen.
Barry Eccleston, the president of Airbus Americas, told the British American Business Council Pacific Northwest conference in Seattle Oct. 4 that the focus at the company for the rest of this year (all 2 ½ months of it) is on execution.
Airbus still has only delivered about two dozen A350s against a target of 50. The A320neo remains well behind delivery schedule, principally because of late deliveries by Pratt & Whitney of the GTF.
“The key here,” said Eccleston, “is not to sell any more A350s, though we’re happy to do that. The key is to execute.”
Eccleston also said that conclusions the A380 is “going into a retirement home or even a hospice” is wrong.
“It’s going to be very difficult to make the case to airlines that don’t fly it because you have to fill it every day,” he said. But there is a future for it, Eccleston said.