Airbus hails ‘landmark year’ with strong 2023 results amid delivery ramp-up

By Tom Batchelor

February 15, 2024, © Leeham News: Airbus gave more details of its planned ramp-up today as it announced 2023 full-year results, with revenues climbing 11% year-on-year to €65bn and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) up 4% to €5.8bn.

The European manufacturer is targeting 800 commercial aircraft deliveries in 2024, above the 735 delivered last year, an increase of almost 9%. Airbus is seeking a ramp-up in production to meet increased output targets across its commercial division, including 75/mo for the global A320 family program.

Airbus FY 2023 commercial positioning. Click to enlarge. Source: Airbus.

Guillaume Faury, Airbus chief executive officer, told investors that the company was seeking to strike a balance between “very strong demand” for its aircraft and “the ability of the supply chain to meet the demand.”

Faury said 2023 had been a “landmark year” with a “record-breaking level of aircraft orders and backlog”. He added: “We continue to see momentum for civil and defense markets.”

However, the Airbus Defense and Space division continues to struggle with adjusted EBIT down 40% year-on-year, to €229m from €384m.

Across all of its business segments, Airbus said it expects to achieve EBIT Adjusted of between €6.5bn and €7bn in 2024.

Group-level results

Revenue for 2023 was €65.4bn, up from €58.8bn in 2022; EBIT adjusted reached €5.8bn, up from €5.6bn 2022, and EBIT reported was €4.6bn (down from €5.3bn in 2022). That negative adjustment was driven by dollar working capital mismatch and balance sheet revaluation, and other costs including €41m related to the A400M program.

Free cash flow was €3.8bn (€4.3bn in 2022), and the net cash position at the end of 2023 reached €10.7bn (€9.4bn in 2022).

For 2024, Airbus is targeting:

  • Around 800 commercial aircraft deliveries (which falls within investors’ minimum range of expectations);
  • EBIT Adjusted between €6.5bn and €7.0bn;
  • Free Cash Flow before customer financing of around €4.0bn.
Commercial aircraft

Gross commercial aircraft orders totaled 2,319 in 2023 (2022: 1,078 aircraft) and net orders stood at 2,094 aircraft (2022: 820 aircraft).

The order backlog amounted to 8,598 commercial aircraft at the end of 2023.

Reflecting on the ongoing crisis engulfing Boeing over the 737 MAX-9 door plug incident, Faury told investors that as Airbus ramps up production, “safety and quality [are] at the heart of all that we do.” But he added that the company’s “philosophy has not changed” and said it would have no impact on the timeline for development of next-generation aircraft.

On the much-anticipated A321XLR, Airbus confirmed delivery has been pushed back from the second to the third quarter of 2024. The first customer A321XLR entered into the Final Assembly Line in December.

“For most of the customers, that doesn’t change the delivery date that is planned,” Faury said, adding that a “handful” of the aircraft would be delivered this year and ramp-up would begin in 2025.

Commenting on wider delays within the supply chain, Faury said: “The supply chain is a world of bottlenecks at the moment. There is not a single bottleneck to be resolved – there are plenty of them.” He listed the engine supply chain as one area that the company was specifically monitoring and said Airbus was assisting suppliers with additional support to avoid new “ruptures in the supply chain.”

“The supply chain is improving, but as they keep improving we keep asking for more. There is a permanent tension between what they are producing and what we need,” he said.

Elsewhere, the A220 ramp-up continues towards a monthly production rate of 14 aircraft in 2026, and Airbus said A320 Family production was “progressing well” towards the previously announced rate of 75 aircraft per month in 2026.

In 2023, construction of the second A320 Final Assembly capacities in Tianjin, China, and Mobile, Alabama, commenced and the new A320 Family Final Assembly Line in Toulouse delivered its first aircraft in December.

On widebody aircraft, Airbus continues towards a monthly rate of four aircraft per month for the A330 in 2024, and a rate of 10 in 2026 for the A350.


Airbus Helicopters registered 393 net orders (vs. 362 units in 2022). The company said these were “well spread across programs,” corresponding to a book-to-bill ratio above 1 both in units and value.

Airbus Helicopters revenues increased 4% to €7.3bn (from €7bn in 2022), and adjusted EBIT increased 15% to €735m (2022: €639m).

Defense and Space

Airbus Defense and Space had a difficult 2023. While the order intake by value increased 15% to €15.7bn (2022: €13.7 billion), EBIT adjusted was down to €229m, from €384m in 2022.

Faury said the division endured a “bumpy ride last year”. He said a priority for Airbus would now be to “transform the defense and space division”.

Late last year the company incurred a €300m quarterly charge on satellite developments, reportedly linked to the OneSat family, among other programs.

137 Comments on “Airbus hails ‘landmark year’ with strong 2023 results amid delivery ramp-up

  1. Comac’s C919, ARJ21 Arrive In Singapore For International Air Show Debuts

    from Aviation Week:

    “The C919 will be participating in the flying display, one of only two solo displays at the show; the other being the Airbus A350-1000.

    The C919 made its first venture outside mainland China in mid-December 2023 visiting Hong Kong. The Singapore sojourn marks the first time the aircraft flew over international airspace across at least two air navigation service providers.

    Although the ARJ21 is currently operational in neighboring Indonesia with Chinese-backed TransNusa Airlines, the aircraft type has never made it to an international show before now.

    With no Boeing commercial aircraft participating at Singapore Airshow, Airbus, Comac and Embraer are set to take centerstage on the civil side at the biennale.”

      • In the next 20 years, 40% of all commercial aircraft will be delivered to Southeast Asia and Boeing is basically a no show with supplying product to be reviewed

        • Think GFC.

          an intentionally triggered event.
          IMU knowledge of that financial caldera and the ability to trigger at will was Afaics scoped into the 787 project.
          ( as envisioned: airbus going under and Boeing coming out with a full order book and leisure at fulfillment.)

          The next collapse is in the making.
          Each upcoming day I see more fuses burning.

          • > Each upcoming day I see more fuses burning.<

            Intentionally lit fuses.. late 2024 will likely be interesting.

          • The GFC did not hit the world equally. For example, in Indonesia, the GFC was hardly noticed and the vast majority of the country did not see any effect. On the other hand, the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 was extremely severe in South East Asia and East Asia (especially Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea – the impact was 100x worse in these countries than what the GFC did in Europe and US) but did not affect US and Europe at all. Unlike the GFC, the Asian Financial Crisis led to major changes in the banking system which helped to reduce the impact of the GFC compared with the rest of the world.

            ASEANs biggest trading partners 10 years ago were #1 USA, #2 EU and #3 China. Today it is #1 China, #2 EU and #3 USA. I bet that 10 years from now India is in the top 3, most likely replacing USA but possibly the EU. The world is changing – this is just a function of population sizes, distances and previously poor economies moving to middle class. Nothing to do with me believing in inherent political strengths of India and China. I think actually this process is slowed down by poor leadership in China and a focus on nationalism/politics in India.

            Going back to Aviation: Boeing not being in Singapore and COMAC turning up with both ARJ21 and C919 is to me a very big deal. It shows that Boeing is preoccupied with internal problems while China is confident to show their products to the world. Even Embrear comes in on a high with certification of 190/195-E2 in Singapore and ready for introduction in Scoot (SIA). I even believe this a “trial” to test the Embrear support network which could set the stage for the introduction of the C390 in the Singapore Airforce (their C130s are getting old and there is no sign of getting them replaced with newer C130s) and that would be the first first non-EU, non-USA aircraft in their fleet. Airbus is now a solid supplier who turns up in order to “give face” to a good and loyal customer which Boeing can’t be bothered to do.

            I expect no major orders and announcements (the event is more focussed on military and MRO activities) but the low profile of Boeing is a head scratcher. If there is a betting pool on any surprise announcement, I put up $1 for a C390 order from an Asian airforce.

  2. FG
    Airbus experiencing ‘aggressive’ pricing in widebody campaigns: Faury

    -> … pricing on the single-aisle A320neo family was “holding” and “performing reasonably well”

    Does that mean the A320neo family is very competitive, as a result, AB has less need to compete on price alone?

    • @Pedro: The Cash Operating Costs of the 737-8 and A320neo are within a percent or two based on our analysis. Commercial terms become the driving factor.

  3. EBIT is doping the result, you have to pay tax and interest on your loans so net numbers is more relevant and they dropped a bit for Airbus 2023. Still they will have 10 years of heavy investments for a A320neo family successor, so handy to make good money to invest. It is not just the design and production tooling needed you have to convert or build new robotic FAL’s to get volumes up and find the staff as you will make the neo and the new A320 in parallel over some years. Boeing has room in Everett and Electroimpact close by to produce their robotic built response and St: Lois is getting more free space after F18-E/F/G production slows down. Boeing might dig themselves deeper into politics and refuse to build anything new in unionized shops.

    • “Boeing has room in Everett and Electroimpact close by to produce their robotic built response …”

      AFAIR: Boeing seems to have issues introducing robotic/automatic manufacture into their system in a productive/successful way?

      Hating your workforce meets VW-Halle54 experience .. and insights.
      40 years ago:
      use some translation tool, gist was that automation is more assistance than replacement and requires a highly motivated and qualified workforce.

      • Electroimpact holds annual MAC Christmas party, announces profit share

        “However, this doesn’t mean much for Electroimpact since Boeing dropped from 50-60% of the company’s business to about 10% in recent years.”

        I wouldn’t hold your breath on Boeing using Electroimpact any time soon. It seems like they have fallen out of favor these days. Boeing facility engineers don’t like to be told the truth on the real expectations for their “specs” of new production equipment and tooling (e.g. Renton 737 wing riveters)

  4. “Airbus wants to replace its bestselling A320 family by the mid-2030s”

    “Airbus SE said it wants to replace its bestselling A320 family by the mid-2030s, embarking on an all-new program that seeks to replicate the success of the model that put the European manufacturer on the map three decades ago and eventually eclipsed Boeing Co.’s 737.

    “The planemaker is engaged in two distinct projects: one for a smaller plane capable of flying about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) and powered by hydrogen, and a short- to medium-range A320 successor that will use so-called sustainable aviation fuel, Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said at Airbus’s annual earnings conference in Toulouse.

    “The successor to the A320 series will be a new platform and is set for entry into service in the second half of the next decade, he said. Seating capacity for those models range from about 140 to 240 people, depending on subtype and configuration.”

    • There’s quite a bit of meat in that article- and Boing even gets
      a throwaway line at the end.

      Thanks for the link.

    • ‘Short to medium range A320 successor with sustainable fuel ‘?

      Thats the long rumoured A221- which is a bigger change A220-500 variant and still with jet engines

  5. So we have Airbus numbers and they have excellent profit margins. Milking the market situation as they should. Not much exposure to their stock. Airbus owns the NB market yet only up 16% percent over last year. Hmmm.

    And since we have Airbus numbers, what is the average price they have selling the A321s and A350s at?

    • For AB commercial aircraft:

      Gross margin = EBIT/revenue = 4818/47763 = 10.087%.

      Breakeven occurs around 35% of list price (the list price is chosen so as to give a nominal markup of about 2), indicating that AB was giving an average discount of about 50%.

      At BA, the average discount is closer to 62-65% — as, otherwise, EBIT at that company would be higher.

        • Just goes to show how worthless list prices are and Airbus stopped playing that game years ago. Wonder how lessors figure out their lease payments? Of course they would be privy to the actual contract numbers.

          Thank you again Bondi.

          • At the end of the day, all that really matters is that one OEM (AB) is discounting at a level that allows it to make a healthy profit, whereas another OEM (BA) is discounting at an unhealthy level that completely nullifies profit (even EBIT, before interest payments). When you have 35% base costs, every percentage point of discount makes a big difference.
            For some reason, BA sold its soul to the devil on this point.

          • Another metric:
            Well run production system, no escapes.

            Boeing has incurred massive extra cost beyond the “cheapened up” production system outlay.
            penalising compensation to customers, extra pressure to ceed higher rebates to compensate a lackluster image.

            MMM: cost to fix issues exponentially grows from up front to the end, afterthought solutions.

            A321 pitch up issue ( and thanks for bringing up that observably different handling ):
            years ago after introduction of the A321NEO it was noticed that pitch up ( actually rotational energy introduced ) lead to slight overshoot in pitch up.
            This was not hidden.
            Up front fixed by reducing allowable CoG range and
            finally fixed by a change to FBW parameters
            in the next planned FBW firmware update.

            That is the way such issues should be handled!

      • For AB commercial aircraft:

        Gross margin = EBIT/revenue = 4818/47763 = 10.087%.

        That number includes services, which is combined in commercial and represents 9% of revenues.


        ‘Breakeven occurs around 35% of list price’

        If that were true, tan BA which is discounting at about 62% would be profitable and wouldn’t have to jam (4,459)

        into the Deferred Production Balance


        ‘At BA, the average discount is closer to 62-65% — as, otherwise, EBIT at that company would be higher.’

        Given that Boeing can simply add expenses into Inventory, to pull them out against future deliveries, EBIT could be whatever they’d like it to be.


        On page 26, BA has this:

        Total Costs and Expenses (“Cost of Sales”)
        Cost of sales, for both products and services, consists primarily of raw materials, parts, sub-assemblies, labor, overhead and subcontracting
        costs. Our BCA segment predominantly uses program accounting to account for cost of sales. Under program accounting, cost of sales for each commercial aircraft program equals the product of (i) revenue recognized in connection with customer deliveries and (ii) the estimated cost of sales percentage applicable to the total remaining program.

        The following table summarizes cost of sales:
        (Dollars in millions)
        Years ended December 31 2023

        Cost of sales $70,070
        Cost of sales as a % of Revenues 90.1 %


        Make of it what you will

        • Yes. Airbus doesnt give out revenue for any of its programs, just the collective number for ‘commercial’ plus it mixes mostly unit accounting with some program accounting . Exactly how much is one of the other is a mystery
          Take their airliners figures with a grain of salt along with their sales figures The share market seems to feel the same

          • The stock market seems to like the fact that AB generates a healthy EBIT — the stock hit a record high the other day.

            BA stock is still more than 50% down from 5 years ago.

          • ‘ Airbus doesnt give out revenue for any of its programs,’

            Does Boeing? Please direct us to a link which shows that. Thanks.


            ‘it mixes mostly unit accounting with some program accounting . Exactly how much is one of the other is a mystery’

            Maybe a mystery to you, but it is indicated and posted here previously – that Airbus uses modified program accounting for the first 100 or airframes delivered. This subject was already discussed and questions were answered.


            ‘Take their airliners figures with a grain of salt along with their sales figures’

            Sure. Do you do the same with Boeing, or is it all a one way street for you? Do you take Boeing’s sales figures with a grain of salt?

            And to that point:

            What do you mean by that? They didn’t earn that revenue?

          • Boeing 2023 10K Page 34

            This is 737 ‘program numbers
            ‘737 Program The accounting quantity for the 737 program increased by 400 units during 2022 due to the program’s normal progress of obtaining additional orders and delivering airplanes.
            We increased the production rate to 31 per month in 2022, and expect to implement further gradual production rate increases based on market demand and supply chain capacity. We expensed abnormal production costs of $188 million and $1,887 million during the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021.”
            Theres others for different airliner programs and some more detail on 737 in other places.

            In previous years like FY 2022 there was extensive number on the 787 specific costs
            ‘ We also determined that the inspections and rework costs on inventoried aircraft are excessive and should also be accounted for as abnormal production costs that are required to be expensed as incurred. Cumulative abnormal costs recorded through December 31, 2022 totaled $1.7 billion. During the fourth quarter of 2022 we adjusted the total estimate of abnormal production costs up to $2.8 billion with most being incurred by the end of 2023. At December 31, 2021, we were expecting to incur approximately $2 billion of abnormal production costs on a cumulative basis. The increase was primarily driven by a decision in the fourth quarter of 2022 to slow down near-term production due to supply chain constraints and increased inspection and rework costs. We continue to work with customers and suppliers regarding timing of future deliveries and production rate changes.
            During the fourth quarter of 2021, we recorded a loss of $3.5 billion on the program primarily due to the additional rework..”

          • @Duke

            ‘ Airbus doesnt give out revenue for any of its programs,’

            This was your statement.


            In the material from Boeing you posted, I see:

            accounting quantity
            production rate
            abnormal production costs
            Cumulative abnormal costs
            recorded a loss

            But no revenues for it’s programs, like you purported. Here, let me help you out a bit:



            What Is Revenue?

        • –> Frank P
          The 35% figure is nominal, and fluctuates. It’s probably much higher at BA, due to lower production rates.
          Even if we don’t have exact numbers, it’s clear that BA’s discounts are too high relative to its cost base.

          • According to Boeing own data, under program accounting they expensed $2.824 billion less under program accounting, then unit cost accounting – what the things actually cost to build.

            The loss for the year at BCA would have been $4.5 billion, instead of $1.65 billion.

            How much additional revenue would BA have to sell, to cover that?

    • Keep selling them at a loss.
      Once the ink on the contract is dry, only then (slowly) reveal all their shortcomings.

      1200 in-service 787s still have to be inspected for misalignments due to shimming errors…

      • Let’s see the link with proof of your claims of the entire 787 fleet must be inspected for misalignments due to shimming errors.

        • “The FAA memo, which lists safety conditions affecting airplanes currently in service worldwide, states that these tiny gap defects are thought to be present in more than 1,000 Dreamliners. These are not considered an immediate safety concern but could cause premature aging of the airframe.

          “We’re looking at the undelivered airplanes nose to tail, and we have found areas where the manufacturing does not conform to the engineering specifications,” a Boeing spokesperson said Friday. “None of these issues is an immediate safety-of-flight issue.”

          “Those planes currently in service can be inspected and reworked later during routine maintenance, the spokesperson said.

          “However, complicating the process, the FAA memo states that Boeing doesn’t have the detailed configuration data on each plane to know which may have the defects.”

          • Try to keep up with the times Sir Bondi;
            Your link is becoming a bit dated!!
            Going into the archives I see to dig up more Boeing dirt..

          • You asked for a link and I provided one.

            Can you provide a more recent link which negates the content of the FAA memo in my link?


            So, there we go: 1200 Dreamliners with a Sword of Damocles hanging over them.

            Recent events have shown us what gets churned up when in-service BA planes are inspected…not pretty.

  6. Its interesting to see the wild delivery swings at the end of the year with very high deliveries and then the drop at the beginning.

    Airbus delivered 68 x A320 series in Dec but then dropped to 30 in January.

    Boeing of course follows the same trend with a notable 11 x 787 delivered in Dec.

    I always found a steady operation worked a lot better.

    • *Production* is steadier , deliveries depends on the cabin fitout and new owner having all its financial ducks in order to take ownership.
      Dec is end of calendar year push for the delivery of completed planes

      • Only one viewer continually commented on 1200 787’s needed to be inspected for fuselage issues..
        Okay, it’s coming back to me now !!
        Mouthwatering Boeing Discounts, thrown in for good measure..
        I dare say it’s been awhile Sir “Bondi, and do give my sincerest regards to Bryce whilst your at it !!!

  7. 2023

    Deliveries: 735 aircraft comprising 68 A220, 571 A320 Family, 32 A330 and 64 A350


    Deliveries: 661 (1) aircraft comprising 53 A220, 516 A320 Family, 32 A330 and 60 A350



    Revenues 47,763 41,428

    Increase: € 6.335 billion

    (assuming services remained the same)

    15 – A220’s
    55 – A320’s
    4 – A350’s

    Increased delivery from 2022


    • ‘The development and creation of the Airbus A350 program are estimated to have cost roughly €11 billion (approximately $12 billion). It was expected that the aircraft would become profitable around 2019, and, to an extent, that is what happened. As reported by Simple Flying, the A350 program finally broke even in 2019. ‘

      “We are also improving the profitability of this program as we are back to rates that justify being profitable on the 350. You might remember that we reduced significantly the cost base of the 350 program over COVID being back to break even with half the rate we had before COVID.”


      ‘According to Airbus data, the aircraft has proven very popular, accumulating 1237 orders as of January 2024. Of these, 585 had been delivered as of last month.’

      I guess it’s gravy now, from here on out.

      • Frank P:

        Is Gravy Train a technical accounting term? I don’t remember it from my accounting class.

        And I assume Airbus does not have to buy materials, pay labor, pay for facilities maint, power costs, heat for its facilitates?

    • Citibank, huh? You mean these guys, who said this in their Outlook:

      We expect a global recession in 2023 –
      FIGURE 4. Indeed, the 1.7% annual global
      growth we expect is likely to be weakest in forty
      years outside of the Global Financial Crisis year
      of 2009 and the COVID shutdown year of 2020.
      Among the major economies, the eurozone and
      the UK are likely to come out worst, with fullyear contractions of 0.5% and 1% respectively
      as they contend with sky-high energy costs, as
      well as policy tightening.


      How’d that projection work out?

      I guess we know which way they were betting….or wanted people to bet.

      • “Economists (more like secular priests) have predicted
        forty of the last ten recessions.”

          • I guess technically, you are correct.


            But based on that measure, Mr Sunak’s promise has not been fulfilled because the UK economy shrank by 0.1% in July to September.
            For the whole of 2023, the UK economy grew by 0.1%.

            Ruth Gregory, deputy chief UK economist at Capital Economics, said “this recession is as mild as they come”, adding that the data “is more politically significant than it is economically”.


            Japan has unexpectedly fallen into a recession after its economy shrank for two quarters in a row.

            The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by a worse-than-expected 0.4% in the last three months of 2023, compared to a year earlier.
            It came after the economy shrank by 3.3% in the previous quarter.


            UK shot itself in the (both) foot (feet) with Brexit and the falling value of the yen against the dollar was a big part of Japan. It lost 9%…

          • Frank P

            “I guess technically, you are correct.” We can have this conversation in Sept 24 and see how the airlines start pushing back delivery dates.

            It will be interesting to see how IAM contract negotiations will be going at that time

          • Bloomberg:
            “Strains are showing at other firms too. In South Korea, banks and fund managers followed a similar strategy as Aozora, leaving them exposed to a wave of bad loans tied to *commercial real estate in the US and Europe*. Deutsche Bank AG reported Thursday that it quadrupled provisions for losses in the sector during the fourth quarter from a year earlier. While the bank’s US office exposure is only 1.5% of total loans, it represents 23% of its stress-tested book.

            Billionaire investor Barry Sternlicht warned this week that the office market is headed for more than $1 trillion in losses. In all, banks are facing roughly $560 billion in commercial real estate maturities by the end of 2025, representing more than half of the total property debt coming due over that period. Regional lenders in particular are more exposed to the industry, and stand to be hit harder than their larger peers because they lack the large credit card portfolios or investment-banking businesses that can insulate them.

          • “losses”

            Wertanpassung 🙂

            corrections applied to overvaluation of assets.

          • ‘JetBlue Airways, which hasn’t posted an annual profit since before the pandemic, is deferring about $2.5 billion in capital expenditures on new Airbus planes to the end of the decade,’


            “Hello United? Comment ca va? We’ve got some good news for you on your your request for delivery slots…”

            – AB

    • ‘For the full year 2023, Citigroup reported net income of $9.2 billion, on revenues of $78.5 billion, compared to net income of $14.8 billion on revenues of $75.3 billion for the full year 2022. ‘



      Poor fellows could only return $6 billion in 2023 in buybacks and dividends. You think Boeing is jealous?

  8. AW: Boeing does not expect to be producing 38 new 737 MAXs per month until at least the second half of 2024, Boeing CFO Brian West said.

    • Memories: Remember when that outfit claimed they’d be delivering forty MAXes per month by *mid-2023*?

      • “Right now, we’re in the position where we have to do things like pause the [assembly] line,” West said. […]

        Boeing (BA) had said it was “cycling” at a rate of 38 planes a month for the 737, its best-selling plane. The company at times has paused its assembly line to focus on quality procedures.

        “We have to acknowledge that we have lots of things to focus on in terms of keeping the airplanes in position longer so that we can incorporate all the learnings that we’re finding, and that’s just fine,” West said.

        • “cycling” “paused” “learnings”

          Boeing PR-speak: there is nothing quite like it. The emptiness resounds..
          I sure hope there is not another MaxCrash.

      • Delivery exceeds the production rate because of the 737 stored inventory…remember
        Still about 140 left that are never going to China that can be resold, all this year

        • Calhoun and West said otherwise. 😄

          P.S. IIRC 35 MAX 7/10 at y.e. more this year!

          • Boeing SEC 10-K filing:

            P. 35
            “At December 31, 2023, we had approximately 35 737-7 and 737-10 aircraft in inventory.”

        • “Ryanair, Southwest, United take biggest hit from FAA cap on 737 MAX production”

          Can our poster explain how his “solution” is going to help?

        • Actually Duke, it’s about 85 to China. It says so right here in their financials:

          As of December 31, 2023, we had approximately 140 737-8 aircraft in inventory that were produced prior to 2023, including 85 aircraft for
          customers in China.

          pg 33


          About 40 of those are 737Max 7’s & Max 10’s that will be moved in 2025/2026.


          As any business owner will tell you, holding on to Inventory only costs you money. Especially when you have borrowed funds to produce that stock.

          It’s part of the reason Boeing has had to do stuff like this:

          ‘At December 31, 2023 and 2022, commercial aircraft programs inventory included the following amounts related to the 737 program: deferred production costs of $6,011 and $2,955 and unamortized tooling and other non-recurring costs of $792 and $626.’

          pg 74

          Another $3 billion hidden away in the DPB.


          ‘never going to China’

          Return-to-service of the China 737 MAX fleet is complete. While there continues to be uncertainty, we are continuing to
          work with airlines and government officials on delivery timing and expect to deliver most of the aircraft in inventory by the end of 2024. In the
          event that we are unable to deliver aircraft consistent with our assumptions, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be
          adversely affected.

    • The article also references China and their C919.

      Thing is – the supply chain (and this is a worldwide thing) is built to support these two OEM’s. The world needs both of them to buy parts and sell aircraft. Engine makers sell to both. Tier 1’s like Spirit sell to both.

      What would happen to Spirit and the products they supply to Airbus, if all of a sudden BA and their 60% of Spirits revenues were suddenly ‘killed off’?

      It would hurt Airbus. They would have to spend money to step in and fix the supply chain. Avionics, landing gears and on & on down the line.

      The repercussions would be horrible.

      • This is a Hobson’s Choice thing.

        Boeing getting transparent over time causing a shift in supply chain.
        Boeing hanging on with claws and teeth maiming their supply chain as a side effect.
        Boeing going belly up in a cataclysmic way. suppliers hanging in limbo.

        Each and every time Airbus will have to decisively act by various means including taking gobs of money in hand.

        The fall out from the 787 project already shew that Boeing’s supplier issues radiated strongly into Airbus’ realm.

        I am regularly surprised how reliable this runs its course:
        Boeing ( or any US entity including the state ) creates some major bruhaha and everybody else in the specific domain
        is dragged into fixing it.

        • As a example, the 777x program…launched in 2013, the suppliers needed to have their production equipment ready on factory floors by 2016 timeframe Since then, 20 plus 777x have been built. (still not in serial production) What is cost to suppliers on having idle production equipment and floor space (along with ramp up cost of new employees) for 8 years

          • Frank P:

            Now that is the truth.

            Short term a Boeing demise would impact the industry not because Airbus would have to change things, its because they could not.

            A lot of industries would go belly up, Airbus nor CFM could shift production over to A320 series (or A220) in short term.

            Airbus keeps talking about 75 a month but they achieved a 48 x A320 a month last year.

            They claim 75 a month by 2026 but I am not holding my breath as they have claimed to be there by now as well.

            Airlines would be hit extremly hard as their aircraft costs would go up – Airbus could charge what they want. Converting to A320 or A220 cost would be huge.

            Net gain for A220 as Airbus could then shift to all A321 and build the A220-500 (again it would take minimum 5 years for that to kick in)

  9. Reuters:
    Singapore to impose green fuel levy on flights from 2026

    UK court tells VietJet not to interfere with export of repossessed jets
    -> “The Aviation Working Group, a UK-based entity that monitors financing laws on behalf of planemakers and lessors, last year placed Vietnam on a watchlist over its adherence to the Cape Town treaty and reaffirmed the move in October. India is also on watch amid a dispute between the airline Go First and lessors.”

  10. On Boeing and it’s inventory of Aircraft:

    This was at the end of 2022:

    ‘We have approximately 250 aircraft in inventory as of December 31, 2022, including approximately 140 aircraft in inventory that are designated
    for customers in China. We are remarketing some of these aircraft to other customers. We anticipate delivering most of the aircraft in inventory
    by the end of 2024.’

    End of 2023:

    ‘As of December 31, 2023, we had approximately 140 737-8 aircraft in inventory that were produced prior to 2023, including 85 aircraft for
    customers in China.’


    250-140=110 Max’s from inventory

    Twelve months ended December 31

    Commercial Airplanes 2023
    737 – 396

    So ~285 Max’s delivered during 2023 were from the production line or about 24 a month.



    55 of those aircraft (140-85) were either delivered to China or remarketed to other airlines.

    Hence the DPB increase.

  11. A little Inventory accounting magic:

    During 2023, the inventory of stored aircraft at BA dropped from 250 Max’s to 140 and the 787 inventory dropped from 90 to 50.

    Say you low ball the amount of each aircraft; a Max at $40 million and the 787 at $125 million. $4.4 billion for the Max’s and $5 billion for the Dreamliners valued in Inventory. $9.5…maybe even $10 billion total.

    One would expect the amount in Inventory to decrease, at least by some – no?

    Inventories 79,741 78,151

    An increase of $1.6 billion, year over year.


    This was 2022 and 2021

    Inventories 78,151 78,823

    • What’s the latest *estimated* Boing MAX-10™ EIS date, as compared to its initial one?

      That article was a remarkable exercise in obfuscation and goalpost-shifting- as might be expected in these times.


      • Adding: “You Have No Choice” is not a customer-friendly argument- and they assuredly remember.

          • Relax, Pedro: one erstwhile commenter here already said it’s no big thing, parts falling off of a 757’s wing. Thanks for the informative link.

    • @ Williams
      4 new 321neos .
      2 experienced engine failures..
      Splendid debut for your A321 fleet, United.
      AB sure are trying to keep that under wraps. Info very hard to come by..
      Absolutely embarrassing….so back to taking your chances with the max..
      CFM, beckoning.

      • It’s United that picked P&W. Airbus A320neo family has dual engine sources, unlike the MAX!

        • The one good thing going for the Max, CFM powerplants..
          It’s ok to flip United.
          Nothing unusual to change your choice of engine suppliers nowadays.
          Actually quite common.

          • Frank P made some good points about United’s medium-term Boing plight, and possible solutions not involving that company upthread.

      • Airbus is not going to get to 75 a month with just CFM. It is funny how the “fans” turned on PW when prior many were stating their new tech was going to wipe the floor with CFM non-geared engine.

        Eventually……… maybe the engine makers and new tech will reach wing time of the previous gen. Or maybe not.

      • sounds like “Monday Lemons”
        where are the Pratt GTF engines assembled?

        did the planes actually have the “delivered with” engines hung or did they sport some musical chairs engines ( to alleviate common mode failures )?

  12. New FAA Efficiency Rules Confirm End For Boeing 767F Production

    “With the new fuel efficiency rules going into effect on April 16, this would mark 2027 as the final year of the production of the 767F”

    “However, no cargo carriers, apart from the US-based UPS and FedEx, have the 767F on order, according to the manufacturer’s Orders & Deliveries filings as of January 31. The two airlines’ unfilled orders tab indicated they have 21 and 16 Boeing 767Fs on order, respectively.”

    another lost market for Boeing

  13. “Airbus: Comac’s C919 ‘Will Not Rock The Boat’

    “Airbus is “considering Comac as a competitor in the future,” but the C919 is “not going to rock the boat in a significant way”, Airbus Commercial CEO Christian Scherer said Feb. 20 at the Singapore Airshow.:

    Its a bit ironic coming from Airbus…..didn’t Boeing and Douglas say that back in the 1970’s about the Airbus’s Eastern Airlines order……..the rest is history

    • I think Scherer is probably suggesting what comes after C919 will be what makes COMAC a competitor. The C919 itself won’t “rock the boat.”

      • But for every C919 order, is an order Airbus and Boeing doesn’t get! As for C929…you are talking 2040’s for EIS (no real progress in the last 7 years since its “launched”)

        Surprising, Comac is really slow on getting additional production equipment/tooling purchased and operational to ramp up production (e.g. like they haven’t even started) The original production equipment and tooling max out at 4 aircraft a month

        Comac has a decision to make, go back to the western equipment and tooling suppliers or have Chinese companies (government supported) try to “duplicate” the existing equipment As an example the second ARJ21 FAL in Shenyang

        • In my view, Boeing is more at risk than Airbus. US-China geopolitical tensions and Airbus FAL presence in China tilt things away from Boeing and toward Airbus, coupled with C919. But the low rate production, as you mentioned, makes it impossible for the C919 to become a major factor before the next new airplane comes from Airbus or Boeing, at which point the C919 becomes obsolete and a successor is needed. Look beyond the C929 as a “what comes after C919” in this context.

          • You can expect a 50 year production run for the C919, they will let A and B sort out the new commercial aircraft technologies for a decade or two. Such as thermoplastic fuselage/wings, hydrogen propulsion and additive mfg.

            The metallic tube and wing is not going away anytime soon

        • “But for every C919 order, is an order Airbus and Boeing doesn’t get! ”

          There is this faint idea of having enough (orders, whatnot) at the moment.
          OK, I am aware of that society permeating concept of never having enough ( in whichever way, if you can’t keep it it is mine! )

        • -> The Asia-Pacific region is playing a growing role for Airbus’ commercial business. Coming from around one third of global demand, the region will grow to 40% in the coming years.

        • -> Walsh also shared that when he was with International Airlines Group (IAG) he had regular conversations with Comac on how Western airlines evaluate aircraft, ongoing issues and what they want to see addressed. He understands that other airlines are also having those conversations now.

      • I never, ever understood why people do this.

        As someone who played sports at a high level and do follow some competitions, it was drilled into us:

        “Never give your opponents bulletin board material.”

        All he had to say is something like “We know they are working hard and investing into the industry and we are following developments”

        Why inspire the other side any more than they already are and potentially create problems in a market that you are selling into? If the government wanted to make it difficult for you there, they could.

        Everyone knows who the top dog is now, you don’t have to advertise it.

  14. UK, Japan only tip of iceberg, 18 other countries at risk of recession

    “UK and Japan, Ireland and Finland also went into technical recessions”

    “At least 14 countries witnessed a shrinking GDP during the July-September quarter. The 10 other countries — Denmark, Luxembourg, Moldova, Estonia, Ecuador, Bahrain, Iceland, South Africa, Canada, and New Zealand — are still at risk of slipping into recession. Denmark, Luxembourg, Moldova, and Estonia were already in recession by the third quarter.”

    • and Airbus thanks Boeing for discontinuing 767 freighter

      on another note:
      Comparing “Paper Airplanes:” The 777X Freighter Vs The A350F

      “As for the proposed 777-8F, while the current estimates suggest that it could offer six percent more volume and seven tonnes more payload than the A350F, this would come with a hefty burden of at least 32 additional metric tonnes (32,000kgs) of take-off weight (Airbus’ initial estimate) – which increases fuel burn, CO2 emissions and airport charges.”

    • Thanks for the link to the Spirit whistleblower article. This could be interesting.

  15. NY Times article

    “Ed Clark, the head of Boeing’s 737 Max program, which includes the Max 9, is leaving immediately, Stan Deal, the chief executive of the commercial airplanes unit”

  16. FG: Spirit AeroSystems aims to bring more technology to the 737’s manual-centric fuselage production process

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