Boeing says record 2017 deliveries will continue

By Bjorn Fehrm 

January 09, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Boeing announced record airliner deliveries for 2017 of 763 jets today, leading the industry for the 6th year running. Net orders of 912 aircraft gave a Book-to-Bill of 1.2. Airbus, which announces next week, is expected to have delivered 700 jets but to top Boeing for orders.

Randy Tinseth, Vice President Marketing for Boeing, expects the positive trend to continue. “The market was strong 2017 and we see no change for 2018. Our customers transported record passenger numbers, at record load factors and with record profits. We don’t see airliner demand weakening” said Tinseth in a call with media.

Boeing’s strong year

“The market for civil airliners show no signs of slowing down,” said Tinseth. ”We forecast a worldwide GDP growth of +3% for 2018 and a travel growth of 5.5% to 6%. This growth is throttled by aircraft deliveries. We have load factors at record levels and we can’t see how the underlying travel demand for 2018, which is higher than 6%, can be absorbed by a still higher utilization of the airlines’ fleets. The result is, travel is limited by aircraft deliveries.”

“Our customers had a good 2017, with record profits. The world’s airlines made more combined profits for the last three years then they did in the 30 years before,” said Tinseth. “With world travel at a constant 6% to 7% increase and our customers at record profits, we will have to analyze how we fulfil demand for aircraft. We have decided to increase the MAX rate from 47/month last year to 52 this year and 57 from 2019. We might have to revisit this. Our rate increase of 787 to 14/month for 2019 is secured. This is the highest rate ever for a widebody.”

“Our 737 MAX was the sales and delivery leader for the year at 745 net orders and 529 deliveries,” continued Tinseth. “Our widebodies were also strong with 136 deliveries for the 787 and 94 orders. In total, we delivered 238 Widebodies and got orders for 167. What is also encouraging is the cargo market growing with 9% for 2017 and 2018 also looks good”.

Weak models

The only question marks in the Boeing lineup remains the 737 MAX 7 and the 747-8 Freighter. Tinseth would not be drawn on the orders and deliveries for the MAX 7, he only underlined the segments importance for Boeing in its fight with competitors like Bombardier’s CSeries.

For the 747 freighter, he expected the turn in demand will wait until the widebody replacement cycle starts around 2022.

71 Comments on “Boeing says record 2017 deliveries will continue

  1. Sure, airlines made a pile more than ‘in the past 30 years’ because many of those years included huge losses. It is a good thing those days are seemingly behind the industry (Alitalia, Air Berlin, etc. notwithstanding it seems much more stable today overall).

    The huge A320/737 backlogs represent, in reality, an enormous risk at this point for the manufacturers. If something ‘better’ does come along, or any other disruption in projected growth markets happens, a lot of that has a lot of time to cancel/move on/disappear.

    Cash (flow) remains king, in almost every industry. Airbus and Boeing alike continue to make it rain for their investors.

    • I don’t know do you really think that something better is going to come along in 5-6 years? The C series is too small and so that leaves China and Russia as the only possible options and they are only competitors in their home markets, if even that.

      • @Geo:
        “The C series is too small”
        Not according to the legal petition officially submitted by Boeing to the Trump admin. I guess Boeing fear what would happen to the sales of their bread & butter Max8 if the mythical CS5 become a reality after 2020….

        “China and Russia as the only possible options and they are only competitors in their home markets, if even that.”
        Very true. It’s interesting to note that none of the top 10 customers(airlines or lessors) for 320Neo or Max programs is based in China or Russia….

        Total firm order comparison by program as of today:
        Max=4,000+(Excluding options+LoI/MoU)
        C919=771(Including options+LoI/MoU)
        MC21=311(Including options)

        Approx. mkt share across these 4 programs:

        Put it in another perspective:
        320Neo+Max programs collectively will be delivering @ least 1,200 narrowbodies per yr from around 2020…..a far higher quantity in only 1 yr than the entire backlogs of C919+MC21 combined.

        • @FLX

          Fully agree, in terms of something else coming along it is not just the development but also the sort of volumes that could be produced in the timeframe are minimal in relation to the B737/A320.if we discount the Cseries as being in a different sector (true outside Boeing world), then we are only really considering the MC-21 and even the suggested ramp is slow and I would place a fairly large bet it will not be achieved. Effectively AB and BA have this sown up for at least 10 years

        • Very good post, thanks mate.

          The high output is a danger and chance –
          how should a Comac oder MC21 reach similar numbers?

          A&B simply outproduce them.

          That’s also the misteake Boeing made about Bombadier – they could have never, never made significant impact on their own, simply due the fact the were thin in capital and could have never financed a production ramp up. It would have been limited to a niche airplane – maybe a sucessfull niche airplane, but never in the spheres of Max n Neo.

          Now, with the production power of Airbus in behind, Boeing has a real low end competitor.
          Airbus, making most of it’s sales and money on A321neo can shift it’s A320neo family upwards and should have dev. capacity & funds to develop A321neo+ or A322, leaving A320 behind.
          CS100, 300 and 500 are then the most modern SA family, with CS300 replacing A319/B737-7 and CS500 for A320/B737-8.

          That could be done by 2020/21 leaving Boeing in a desaster without any answer. Airbus should have engineering capacity without going for a A380neo, A35kk, after finishing A330neo and A35k.

          I recently heard Airbus did reduce engineering capacity due to lack of work.
          While not launching A35kk, A380neo and any other new product, Airbus has to do something to maintain their engineers.

          • texl1649:

            Something better does not just “come along”

            It requires a hard earned reputation for delivering, efficiency and support as well as the product itself. The former are as important as the latter. 3 legged stool. Missing a leg and it goes over.

            Of the two, China has a me too that is not going to shake the industry. Inside China deliveries only. That is only because China totally controls the market. Its not even certified to world standards.

            Russian with the MC-21 has the product, they have not built a Western Support system.

            What you do see repeatedly on the military side is a gross inability to provide support, parts, technicians to keep things working.

            They are still stuck in the old Soviet model.

            As both Russian and China offerings are completely controlled by their governments, its not going to change.

            Both will remain political driven entities and not commercial. Its in a dictators DNA and that never changes.

          • Once you have an Aircraft certified it needs lots of engineering still to drive down cost, increase reliability and improve performance. In addtion you have a huge service support/engineering staff. Just to make the A330 an even more sucessful MoM Aircraft for domestic flying requires massive amount of engineering to reduce mass, improve durability and work with suppliers for them to do the same. I can agree that the engineers in preliminary design, whole Aircraft and wing aero design and structural design need something new once they are done with the Qantas “Double sunset A350” wing and structures. The A400M looks to have an old wing aero design of initial A380 vintage and could need more payload/range including a new bigger/lighter prop, revised gearbox and some M88 upgrades into the A400M Engine. The Germans might pay up for the A400MKII to increase max payload to over 36ton and accept a price increase so Airbus finally makes money on the A400M. The aero/structures staff can also design an A350-2000 new wing/pylon/Nacelle-Thrust Reverser suited for the RR Advance Engine to give the 777-9 a run for the money. The Eurofighter/Typhoon sucessor could occupy lots of there engineers for some time before drawing freeze and military certification Reviews.

    • @texl1649:
      “airlines made a pile more than ‘in the past 30 years’ because many of those years included huge losses.”
      And IMHO+observations, those huge losses were mainly due to:
      1. Econ down-cycles, oil price shocks, major war/terrorism shocks, etc.
      2. Most airlines were operating with a sub-optimal biz model/strategy, i.e. supplier side(aggregate airline industry) was incurring a cost level higher than the demand side(e.g. aggregate consumer) was willing/able to pay in Rev$ level. Y consumers may moan much louder about smaller seats/lesser services for a given $ of fare than decades ago but financials @ most airlines are now also more healthy than decades ago.

      “If something ‘better’ does come along…”
      But from where? In the narrowbody segment, Airbus+Boeing will continue to dominate for @ least the nex decade because:
      1. BBD only has the CSeries and that program will essentially become Airbus Canada division later this yr.
      2. EMB only has 190/195E2 and that program may eventually become a form of Boeing Brazil division per current industrial partnership discussion.
      3. The Comac C919 and Irkut MS21 seriously lack global sales/after-sales/customer support network footprint/infrastructure which will take decades to build even if Comac/Irkut are willing to invest. Worst of all, currently planned ultimate production scale(a function of supply chain scale) of these 2 programs are tiny relative to the CSeries/E2Jet…let alone 320/737.

      “or any other disruption in projected growth markets happens..”
      Which always does but never last long in the grand scheme of things…if the commercial aerospace industry history is a guide.

  2. IMO the 737-9, 787-8, 777-8 and 747-8i are question marks too.

    The 787-10 seems ok now, but the customer bases for 737-10 and 777-9 are still narrow.

    • Agree on the first three but there is no question marks about the 747-8i, it’s considered dead.
      The 737-10 already has orders from, at least, 11 different customers.
      The 777-9 has, at least, 8 different customers.

      • No body will argue about the fate of the 747-8I and 737MAX7.
        777X sales will not reach Legacy 777 ones because over the Atlantic the 787-10 will take over old 777 before the IES of the NMA.
        737 sales could even bigger if it was not of the rebates of its two competitors supported by deep-pockets government.

        • “competitors supported by deep-pockets government”

          The deepest pockets government is by far the US one with its military budget, thanks to a huge budget deficit so thanks to money borrowed to the rest of the world. And addition to military spendings, the dollar and ITAR rules are supporting US industry without any comparison in the world. If you add to that Washington state and Sout Carolina tax breaks…

          • The 747-8I is not considered dead, it is dead.

            A380I is on life support.

            777-X is mapped out for now.

            737-9, hmmm,

    • @keesje:
      “IMO the 737-9, 787-8, 777-8 and 747-8i are question marks too.”
      It’s a lost cause ever since Max10 was launched. It’ll get no more new sales and I suspect backlog will actually shrink as customers who can wait longer will convert Max9 to Max10. For Boeing, it’s too late to cancel it but that’s probably ok…..think of Max10 as the Max9 Mk2 – a derivative of Max9 Mk1 similar to how 739 sales dried up after 739ER was launched.

      Agree it’s a question mark. However, its closest competitor 338 would be an even larger question mark.

      At most a minor question mark. If Airbus can justify 338 production survival due to 339, Boeing can justify 778 production due to 779 by the same logic…both cases are largely straight-forward shrinks fm a basic platform in production since the early 90s.

      Bjorn did not included it as a question mark likely because sales was dead long ago so no question at all……probably why he only talked about 748F…

      “but the customer bases for 737-10 and 777-9 are still narrow.”
      True for Max10 but then it’s been on the Boeing brochure for less than 7mths. In contrast, its most direct competitor 321Neo has been around for over 7yrs.

      As for narrow customer base for 779, its most direct competitor 35K isn’t much better these days. Excluding lessors(i.e. a type of buyer that can easily swap its firm order across variants), total customer operator for each type:

    • 787-10 never has been an issue with 95% of parts similar to 789.
      737-10 is just a reaction to loosing customers to A321neo, it will kill the 737-9 of course.

      B748 is not a question mark, it’s a dying line.

      Boeing is now in a mutch better position, the B777 production gap is closed, the B787-10 sold to Emirates and the general sales of B787 help a lot.

      B777x is somewhat a dark horse, besides ME3 LH and SIA there are not many orders. Discount Emirates and Qatar and there’s not even a programm left.
      A350 seems to be a strong competitor, even if there are not many A35k sold.

      I see a chance that neither A330neo nor B777x can stand their ground against their more modern competition (B787 and A350)

      • @Sash:
        “B777x is somewhat a dark horse, besides ME3 LH and SIA there are not many orders.”
        Inexplicably, firm orders by CX and NH somehow don’t count by some folks….

        Even if only just half of the current/firmed 77W fleet @ CX and NH will eventually be replaced by 779 not yet ordered today(assuming the rest will be replaced by 35K @ same gauge or 789 @ downgauge), that’s 40 frames additional sales for the 77X program roughly equivalent to 0.5yr of 777 production output.

        “Discount Emirates and Qatar and there’s not even a programm left.”
        It would hv left the 77X program with 116 firm orders if these top 2 customers are gone.

        Interestingly, if the top 2 customers, QR and EY, for the 35K program are gone, it would hv left the variant with 110 firm orders….so “there’s not even a programm left” for the 35K by the same token? Furthermore, I think most folks who’ve been following EY group news would agree EY is a higher risk than EK these days in terms of order cancellation…..

        “A350 seems to be a strong competitor..”
        Clearly yes for 359, not really for 35K if order activities/history since program launch nearly 11yrs ago is a guide.

        I just find it very very interesting that while some folks often cite strong 330Ceo sales even after 787 launch(It’s true), the same folks never cite strong 77W sales even after 35K launch(They often do the opposite which is highlighting how much inferior/’weaker’ 77W is to 35K)…….I wonder why….

        “..even if there are not many A35k sold.”
        This “seems to be” an understatement…..perhaps except for Airbus cheerleaders/champions….

        “…neither A330neo nor B777x can stand their ground against their more modern competition (B787 and A350)”
        330Neo vs 787
        I still see this as a case favoring 787 sales @ least partly due to propulsion contract competition between suppliers….1 has while the other doesn’t.

        77X vs 350
        Realistically and in most customer RFPs, no 359 competes with any 77X variant except in tiny niche segment such as 359ULR vs 778(e.g. QF 2022 plan for SYD-LHR/JFK nonstop). In reality, 359 competes with 789 right below it and 78J right above it(seat cout) in most RFPs(e.g. EK).

        Only the 35K competes with 779 and in that case, the so-called ‘older’ is clearly more than standing its ground against the ‘newer’ in terms of sales.

        Technically, 330Neo and 77X program are not really in the same ball park in terms of the magnitude of deviation upgrade fm their predecessors. In a generic nutshell:
        330Ceo->330Neo =
        New engine/pylon, new wingtips and that’s about it(I discount all the newer, nicer cabin tricks because the same stuff can be installed inside a 330Ceo cabin with ease).

        77W->779 =
        Completely new wing(e.g. new material, new geometry/aspect ratio, unprecedented wingtip, new wingbox structure, etc.), revised cabin width(via revised inward fuselage frame design), stretched fuselage, new engine/pylon.

        IMHO, 330Neo is only about 25% newer than 330Ceo while the 77X is @ least 66% newer than 77W.

        • Mate, your post is weired.

          of course Boeing designed the B777x larger, as otherwise it couldn’t stand a chance against a 15t lighter A35k.

          And of course, the A350 is exactly where B772 and B77w have been.

          It’s funny how guys like you are calling other guys Airbus fanboys just to fall of the edge on the other side, clearly beeing a Boeing fanboy.

          As mentioned, I don’t see A330neo in a good position agains B787. B787 cashed in a lot of orders recently and A330neo is lacking.

          How do you get those % numbers? Stretching a fuselage is not anything “new” – and that cabin width, you’re joking or don’t have a clue what you talking about. You talk about inches?
          B777x is mainly new wing, new engine, stretch to get it somehow efficent againt lighter composite airplanes and some cosmetics on the cabin.
          B777x and A330neo are pretty much the same thing in terms to their forefathers.

          I wonder about the A35k – it should be a really efficent airplane as it’s a stretch, the size is where a lot of planes exist (B77W). So why are there just under 200 orders?
          Either it’s to big, and Airlines went for smaller B789 and A359 – or as Emirates, the plane was to small and they did buy the bigger plane.
          The other option is the Rolls Royce engine – maybe it’s underpowered?
          At least in the USA airlines seem to be afraid of too much capacity, nobody went for big airplanes, A380, B748 as unsold as B777x.

          We’ll see where widebodies will go, it’s just nice to see some Boeing fanboys steaming on how Airbus got the best out of Boeing with A321neo. B737-10max is what desperation looks like.

          • The A350-1000 with engines might be overpriced? It is just certified and no deliveries yet, so no airline experience yet. RR designed a new engine for it and want its money back quickly and with no engine competition they can almost charge what they want. The same logic applies to B777-9 and GE. With the US Ex-Im bank and corresponding EU financing also in hold-up mode the airlines choose the 787-9 and A350-900 so far. But with traffic increasing and 777-200/-300 replacements increasing, certificatiuon of the 777-9, solving Ex-Im and EU financing the sales of the biggest twins can take a jump around Farnborough air show. For Airbus maybe certifying the more modern Trent XWB-97 derated onto the A350-900 is a way to get the A320/A321 like combination started quickly on the A350 with a common big engine that will stay on wing for +35000hrs on the -900.

    • Of course they are :

      Thats why they have 2 largely different versions of the 787 being built concurrently.

        • Shows just how good their design/build skills really are, as happened with the 747-8 redesign and the KC46 adaptation.

          • @dukeofurl:
            “they have 2 largely different versions of the 787 being built concurrently…Shows just how good their design/build skills really are…”
            To be fair, I’d still give Boeing credit for being the 1st not only to design an airliner with majority CFRP materials but also to jointly do it with a supply chain which has never tried it before…..many stuff in such a pioneering design are bound to be sub-optimal in version 1.0…and even in v1.1

            It’s not really about design/build skills or lack of.

            “as happened with the 747-8 redesign ”
            And also happened to the 380 wiring redesign, 350Mk1->350XWB redesign, 35K Mk1->35K Mk2 redesign.

            If the initial design is not satisfactory, U move on to the nex. Nothing unique about this @ Boeing or Airbus.

          • The 787-8 has had over 400 orders. The 787 family is pushing 1300 sales.
            The airlines do not seem to agree they are poorly designed or built.
            Funny you bring up a 747 as a negative. Regardless the 747i is a fine plane but there is simply not much market for a four engine VLA anymore.The weak sales of the much newer 380 can attest to that.
            If you want to hang your hat on the KC-46 well I guess you have that. Of course that’s not a jetliner… but it is based on the wildly successful 767

          • Airbus builds as good aircraft as Boeing does.

            To contend otherwise is silly.

            The 787-8 is indeed a carry over from the 787 management meltdown debacle of biblical proportions, exceeding even the A380 meltdown.

            Yes Boeing gets first place for the most screwed up managed program ever.

            At leas the A380 was technical issues.

            The 787-8 will always be a loss.

            Boeing management will be happy when they see the last one roll down the line.

            But we can also look at the 737, as much as I lvoed that aircraft in its orignal form, its a former grand sled dog leader that should have been retired.

            It reminds me of Payton Manning in his lame Super Bowl win with Denver.

            Limping along, out of gas, throwing like I do. It was embarrassing to watch. Worse they won. VINDICATED (or not)

          • At what price did they sell their B788s?

            Boeing wa sbehind in composites.

            Of course the B787 is poorly designed, it’s just damn good luck they didn’t loose the one or other airplane, as they all selfinflamed on the ground.
            Even the grounding did pass by surprisingly well.

            You guys propably don’t realize B787 was close to shut down Boeing and sent it to chapter 11.
            If just a single plane crashed and resulted in a grounding, sales would’ve collapsed and Boeing would be gone.

            Today B787 might be a safe plane, but it wasn’t back then. Still it’s uncomfortable for the passanger, especially in Y. 9abreast leave the PAX without any space, compared with A380 10, A350 9 and A330 8 abreast. And that’s where the efficeny is coming from, high density layout.

            The B789 is a very good airplane for many airlines, with good size and range, but from a customer perspective I try to avoid it when possible.

          • Sash:

            First its true that any crash can affect an aircraft.

            The same could be said for the A380 at the worst point in its inception.

            If its out of control then yes management (if they are not stupid) has to consider it all.

            You do not seem to get that Boeing was way ahead in composites. Its one area where extensive milgary experience does carry over (or did)

            Airbus had no answer to the 787 and belittled it, ignoring the Cascades or orders (primed by good deals which Airbus could have counted with lower costs on the A330 they brag about.

            IT took Airbus 4 tries to find a counter and then it was a copy of frame and skin of the aluminum airliners while Boeing spun barrels.

            Airbus was fortune that the copy actually worked comparatively, they did not know until they h tried it as they were totally unprepared for a modern composite aircraft.

            Airbus was completely asleep at the composite wheel for a new aircraft (as opposed to parts) .

            If Boeing had not hosed up the 787 management, Airbus would have been crippled in the twin aisle twins.

            And the 787 is still selling like hot cakes, unlike the A330 and the A350-1000 (the 900 is doing well)

            You really should inform yourself before you release posts that are incorrect and emotionally driven.

          • @Transworld:
            “Boeing gets first place for the most screwed up managed program ever….At leas the A380 was technical issues.”
            I would strongly argue the 380 program also had screwed up project management leadership. E.g., do U recall why Airbus had to redesign the wirings on 380 from scratch? In essence, it was a joint effort by the German team and the French team(typical Airbus work-sharing practice during that era) but each team ‘wisely’ use a diff software app than the other to design it and hoped the outputs would integrate @ the end. Of course that didn’t worked out(Any avg Project Manager dealing with CAD/CAM outputs in any industry would hv known such impending disaster…) and the rest is history….a contributing factor that led Airbus to eventually become a single real corp instead of a consortium consist of various independent aerospace contractors(e.g. with their own design tools) based in diff European nations.

            If 787 program is 1st place in screwed-up mgmt, 380 program is a close 1st runner up.

          • @Sash
            >If just a single plane crashed and resulted in a grounding, sales would’ve collapsed and Boeing would be gone.

            We know. We remember the test 787 that lost total power in flight near Houston… total…bang…nothing….not a watt to talk to a ATC…nothing… and that had to deploy that ‘thingy’ (a sort of propeller like emergency generator — name always eludes me) to restart the plane. That heavy airborne glider 🙂 took like 90? seconds to power back up (i seem to recollect) and lost of lot of altitude.

            Boy, Boeing was close to @Sash seismic 787 event that day. I was stunned at the time by how little press this got. Peewww. Some hearts must have flinched in Seattle that day.

            None of the Airbus test planes ever came anywhere near such catastrophic failure. Though am sure we are going to get told that’s because of the French lavish taxpayer and all that BS – lol.

            But Boeing had the 30-40B$ reserves to go through the hardware provisioning of xxx? 787 ‘gliders’ with engines mounted (pun to the current 320neo PW engine-less gliders) queuing for x years in Washington state in endless rework queues -> Testament to their resilience at the time.

    • @Philippe Cauchi:
      “Why not? Boeing is building the best jetiners in the world.”
      Then Airbus must be building something even better than “the best jetiners in the world” by your stated logic.

      Backlog and waiting list for 320Neo family(especially 321Neo/LR) is even longer than the Max.

      • If you have flown both especially along the windows, you know which one is more comfortable.

        But Airbus can give deep price cuts thanks the state support it is enjoying since its inception.

        • @Philippe Cauchi:
          “If you have flown both especially along the windows, you know which one is more comfortable.”
          No, I don’t because I have flown both for so long and so frequently that I understand pax comfort does NOT depend on whether it is a 737 or 320 but depends on the specific cabin config chosen by the airline/operator.

          For the past 20yrs and @ least once every 2mths on avg, I flew in the cabins of both 737NG and 320Ceo families across many airlines and in various cabin density(i.e. FSC vs LCC) typically @ a window seat. In fact, the last narrowbody flight I did was only 2wks ago on a StarFlyer(My 1st time flying this amazing airline) 320Ceo HND->KIX(1.5 hour sector) in a Y seat with 34 inch seat pitch complete with a AVOD screen. For me, it was the most comfortable flight in a Y seat on a 737 or 320 ever. The least comfortable 737 or 320 flight I ever had was also a 320Ceo but on a JetStar flight SYD->AVV(1.5 hour sector) in a Y seat with 28 inch seat pitch.

          “But Airbus can give deep price cuts thanks the state support it is enjoying since its inception.”
          Must be today’s news for U re similar state support Boeing has been enjoying such as the enormous tax incentives from the Washington state for the past 15yrs and fm the S.Carolina state in recent yrs….and we hv not even started counting the super-juicy profitable U.S. military contracts(e.g. B29, KC135, B52, C17, etc.) Boeing has been getting since WWII(i.e. 30yrs before Airbus “inception”) and free R&D resources/results fm NASA(i.e. 10yrs before Airbus “inception”).

          • Shoulder room is important too and the straight walk of the 737 is giving more than the curved one of the A320.

          • Funny, I am a very wide shoulder guy and that has never been an issue.

            I am not that tall but leg room is.

      • ”Boeing is building the best jetiners in the world.” !!!
        The biggest. But not the best airplane in the world, not nice the C Series made a lot better product, in the best airplane in the world on that CS100, CS300 and the next CS500.

  3. If Boeing can deliver 600 single aisles this year, Airbus may have a hard time gaining any percentage points in the market for deliveries.

    • @Ted:
      “If Boeing can deliver 600 single aisles this year, Airbus may have a hard time gaining any percentage points in the market for deliveries.”
      Not really in terms of future realistic potential for production expansion.

      737 FAL currently has 4 lines but all located @ Renton site which is completely hemmed in by the surrounding neighborhood/developed real estates(Don’t take my word for it, just ask Scott Hamilton) and Lake Washington. There’s simply no physical room to expand @ Boeing Renton.

      320 FAL also has 4 lines but spread across 4 sites across the globe. In contrast to Renton, @ least the 2 lines in Tianjin and Mobile sites hv wide open, undeveloped real estate for easy FAL addition/expansion.

      • That is true. Not only have I been there, I have seen the Aerial photos. Its amazing they can get out of their own way on that congested space.

    • Too me this is the crux of the matter on the single aisle market despite the quite solid 60/40% in favor to airbus sales. This on huge numbers. No flukes. It’s not for nothing. Subsidies arguments are complete non-sense these days. Just FoX rote recycling.

      Europeans have a hard time to scale. But are more constant perhaps than the compensation committee incented execs that we have.

      It’s unclear if the 60/40 advantage will turn to realities on the ground. Even with 4 FAL, AB’s industrial cluster has a hard time to ramp up quickly (US suppliers included).

      Time will tell, but i see a 50/50 production realist for many years to come in single aisle. Boeing is not that dumb and they also have the backlog to draw from. That’s where the real race is in practice.

      • @ivorycoast:
        “..on the single aisle market despite the quite solid 60/40% in favor to airbus sales. This on huge numbers. No flukes.”
        May be it’s just me but I strongly suspect the leading market share for the 320Neo family has @ least something to do with the ability to offer a choice of propulsion suppliers i.e. 2 bidders for engine contract issued by each 320Neo buyer.

        Max simply does not offer that commercial luxury to its buyer.

        I observed the same mkt dynamics re which widebody product has a leading mkt share: 787 vs 350/330Neo(Note: 330Ceo is diff because technically, it offers 3 propulsion suppliers)

        • Clearly two competitors help in lowering prices. I believe one other blog contributor who claimed some inside info mentioned the Boeing folks complaining that CFMI was not ‘flexible’ enough in certain deals. Of course, who knows. But the competitive principle on price is clear.

          Overall, my point is however one thinks of the Boeing/Airbus advantages vs each other in single aisles, the bottom line is… it does not matter! They are close enough. And for Boeing it’s ok no matter because they can match Airbus’ production step by step. With backlogs of 4000+, enough customers want their planes now…so Boeing is ‘secured’ and hence the *real* market share will be production decided for the years to come. NOT sales.

          And ultimately, who knows… because innovations, geopolitical events, etc. may radically change the picture in x years when backlog difference may start to make a slight difference, hence rendering moot the other side perceived better product. The cards may get reshuffled anyhow.

          So….Boeing can do as well as AB with a somewhat ‘inferior’ 737 (if that’s in fact the case). Nothing will change for 5 solid years: Production parity.

  4. The B788 isn’t the model Boeing wants to sell and the 739MAX is already a semi-obsolete model given the current Boeing single-isle product line. Lack of B778 sales isn’t a problem and IMHO the B778 might eventually make it’s way to a B778F. The customer lineup for the B779 isn’t large but neither is the replacement cycle for the B77W. I expect the A350J and B779 to replace a number of B77W frames and I also believe the B779 to be the large end of the market ( Not too sanguine on the A380).

    • Jacobin777:
      “IMHO the B778 might eventually make it’s way to a B778F.”
      Agree and it’ll hv nothing to do with providing a better freighter product to compete in the mkt….772F already has no real direct competitor today or on the drawing board in terms of payload/range….let alone a 778F.

      I foresee Boeing will launch 778F development base on the 778 before 2025 for 1 simple econ reason:
      Completely get rid of the metallic wing supply chain for 777 program so all 777 production will use the same new CFRP wing factory in-house @ Everett.

      After the last 77W in the backlog is delivered circa 2021, the only remaining 777 variant still relying on metallic wing production will be the 772F….doesn’t make a lot of econ sense to continue to sustain that supply chain for such a low volume model.

      • Boeing 777-200F isnt listed as part of their freighter offering, not even as a BCF

          • Sorry may be I wasn’t clearly enough. I meant the 777-200LRF – i.e. the only freighter model within 777 family currently in production.

  5. Tea prices in China have EVERYTHING to do with Global Aviation Outlook:
    * China owes tremendous financial debts, like U.S.
    * China has squandered TRILLIONS of yuan building 10 ‘Ghost Cities’
    * China is in real estate ‘bubble’, like U.S.
    * China has uncharted ‘shadow banking system’, like U.S.
    * Chinese stock markets are casinos, like U.S.
    * Chinese middle-class buy into PONZI-like retirement schemes, like U.S.
    * Chinese have HUGE pension/welfare overhangs, like U.S.
    * China is NOT one country, rather many, many ethnic/social/financial/
    religious groupings, like U.S.
    * China cannot escape (and may trigger) THE GREATER DEPRESSION

    Just saying,
    Dr. Norm

  6. Boeing could ask Witchita to pre-stuff the fuselages with systems and wiring before shrinkwrap them and put them on the train, this will greatly reduce build time in Renton and increase thruput. It will change the mix of work in Renton but not reduce manpower as volume goes up.

    • That is a huge change, not sure it can be done with the 737 (at least economically)

      More likely a new assembly line, Everett has room!

  7. Looking at the picture of the 737 Max I find it extremely ugly. The same goes for the Beechcraft 1900. Those wingtips are terrible. It is a picture of something that was not meant to look like that but instead of redesigning it you keep adding on all sorts of things to keep it flying. For a lesser extent the same thing goes for the sharklets. Think of what a bird would look like if it had all sorts of things sticking out in all directions from it.

    Just a thought…..

    • Actually I quite like the wingtips on the 737max. Overall the 737max looks nice beside the – anachronistic – nose section.

      • Well, what airbus has is swept winglets.

        I do like the looks of the Scimitar type winglets s a lot better than the MD-11 ones that Boeing went with.

        Airbus is just behind the times and could not manage a better winglet other than a direct copy of the Aviation Partners original swept one (grin) sad, very sad.

        Both Boeing and Aviation Partners have upped their game.

        Aviation Partners has the Scimitar split winglet that is better looking, but both are more efficient than a swept one.

        Best of all is the cranked wing, though that seems to be a long rage purpose and the Split type would rule on shorter range (purely speculation based on the 787-3 design)

        • @TransWorld

          What seems to be the case is that the delta in performance between the A320ceo/A321ceo and A320neo/A321neo is greater than the delta in performance between the 738NG/739NG and 738MAX/739MAX.

          So, despite supposedly an inferior wing tip extension design/know-how on the part of the A32Xneo, could you please explain why the market share went from a near 50 split to the current 58 % for the neo vs. 42& for the MAX?

          • Price cuts, deep discounts because of deep- pickets government support, political and economic leverage from the French government,

          • Well besides that?

            Airbus caught Boeing with their pants down.

            Boeing was not willing to do what they should have and suffered short term pain and get an aircraft out.

            Mostly because Boeing just can’t seem to move with any rapidity these days.

            Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes not.

            So they knee jerked it and modified the 737 (again! – plebe make them stop )

            That said, Airbus had a newer aircraft to start with and all they did was put a swept winglet on it.

            That is the problem when you don’t have good wing engineers, you just cop0y the other guy.

          • @Transworld

            “don’t have good wing engineers”


            The wing on the A320 was designed in the mid 1980s, while the legacy constrained 737NG wing was designed in the mid 1990s. Furthermore, the A330 wing was designed in the late 1980s, while the 787 wing was designed in the mid 2000s. Yet, the situation today is such that the 737MAX has lost Boeing market parity in the single aisle market, while the 787 seems to be just barely better than the A330neo.

            If Seattle was this hot spot for wing design, why isn’t Boeing doing better?

          • @Philippe Cauchi


            The companies that have to resort to deep discounts are those who’re offering the inferior product.

            As for your last and ridiculous claim; the A320 programme has long since broken even. Of course, it must be hard for doctrinaire Boeing supporters to admit that the A320neo/A321neo are just better products than the MAX-series

  8. It seems to me that Airbus needs a new wing on the A320 series to impact the real world split of market share.

    Otherwise each mfg just matches each other production wise and Airbus can’t take advantage of its orders advantage.

    • AB and B will closely match production for a while but I think the 320 series will have a longer competative life in its current form than the max and will overtake it in deliveries as it already has in orders in 5 years or so.

      B will have to do a new single aisle aircraft at some point while AB can probably do another refresh with a new wing ( like the NG vs the ‘classic”) if that makes economic sense vs a clean sheet aircraft.

      Then their situation would be the reverse of what it is now. Collectively the airlines will never give one of them more than about 60% of the market because then they (the airlines) will loose the benefit of competative pricing.

      • You assume the Airlines collude?

        Its not like Ryan Air has 40% Airbus so that Boeing is kept honest.

        Nor does Delta have 40% Boeing so they can keep Boeing honest.

        What happens if a true superior one emerges?

        • “Boeing is kept honest.”

          Rumor has it that Boeing lowballed that contract to “get it”. Maybe they earn money on the spare parts.
          But not on the frames.
          … just to spite Airbus.
          That could be seen as a rather over the top kind of “keeping Boeing honest” strategy on Boeings side 🙂
          “Autohonesty” is that a valid word 😕

  9. “Boeing’s special needs in the next decade may be solved by Embraer ” article Leeham

    is now open for comments a couple spots down in blog list.

    Previously subscirito0n only.

    Claes snuck in with the first response.

  10. “Our 737 MAX was the sales and delivery leader for the year at 745 net orders and 529 deliveries,” continued Tinseth.

    This is plain wrong.
    48 MAX + December deliveries afaics.
    419 NG till end of October delivered
    however strong the December effort
    nowhere is this sufficient for 529 MAX deliveries.
    Usually Mr. Tinseth doesn’t lie in that blatant a fashion.

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