Boeing 787 payback gap widens

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

July 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The 787 Dreamliner is now on its sixth delivery year, well past half calendar time in the program’s 1,300 unit accounting block (for the explanation of accounting block and program accounting read here).

Within two quarters we also reach half time for deliveries at 650 aircraft. Production cost improvements must now create a margin, so that the $30b deferred costs to date can be amortized by remaining units. Is the margin created? Not so far.

We will know more in a week’s time. Boeing has its 2Q2017 call next week, where the production cost improvements can be monitored through the decline of the $30bn deferred costs. Right now, the decline is at a slow pace.

Summary:
  • Program accounting means deferred production costs shall be nil at the end of the accounting block.
  • Right now, there is $30bn to amortize and not too many aircraft left that can pay the sum.
  • We explore the payback margins necessary to reach a black nil at 1300 units.

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