Airbus 1Q2024 results: Airbus CEO: “A350 in-service experience drives positive reputation and orders”

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 25, 2023, © Leeham News: Airbus has presented its results for the first quarter of 2024. The strong order flow continues, with a pickup on the widebody side, especially for the A350.

Airbus has, therefore, canned the rate 10 target for 2026 and aims for rate 12 in 2028, with a stronger mix of A350-1000s.

The company has a net cash position of €8.7bn and €30bn liquidity. Guidance for 2024 is unchanged, with 800 commercial aircraft delivered, an EBIT adjusted of €6.5bn to 7 bn, and a Free cash flow of €4bn.

Group-level results

Revenue for 1Q2024 was €12.8bn (€11.8bn 1Q2023), and net profit was €0.6bn (€0.4bn 1Q2023). The modest profit increase is due to Airbus investing in more personnel (+10,000 employees during 2023) and unusually strong participation from Airbus employees in the Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), which affected Group results by -€100m.

The free cash flow for 1Q2024 was -€1.8bn (€0.9bn), and the net cash position at the end of 1Q2024 was €8.7bn, with a liquidity of over €30bn.

Guidance for 2024 remains:

  • Airbus targets 800 commercial aircraft deliveries.
  • Airbus expects an EBIT Adjusted of €6.5bn-€7bn.
  • Free Cash Flow of €4bn.
Commercial aircraft

Market demand continues to be strong, with gross and net orders at 170 aircraft (1Q2023 156), as there were no cancellations. The backlog is now at 8,626 aircraft.

Of the 142 (127) delivered aircraft, 116 were A321/A320, 12 A220, 7 A350, and 7 A330.

The monthly delivery rate for the A320 family still targets a rate of 75 by 2026. The A321XLR is still tracking to certification in 3Q2024.

The buildup of additional A321 capable FALs in Toulouse, Mobile, and Tjinian is going well, according to Airbus CEO Gulliame Faury.

With a continued strong order flow for the A350 (with an order for 30 A350s announced today from IndiGo) and an order shift to the larger -1000, the production system is now prepared for rate 12 by 2028 with a larger mix of the -1000 and A350F, which is a shortened A350-1000.

Supply chain issues still challenge the increase in deliveries. The problem is less the engines and more new issues with the general supply chain that require a large engagement by Airbus personnel.

According to CEO Guillame Faury, discussions about a Spirit carveout of Airbus activities have started, should Boeing buy Spirit Aerosystems. These are on a preliminary level for now.


The Airbus helicopter had a modest 1Q2024 with deliveries of 50 helicopters versus 71 1Q2023. Revenue decreased by 9% to €1.46bn (€1.60bn) and EBIT by -54% to €0.07bn (€0.16bn), which includes the ESOP costs.

Defense and Space

Revenues increased by 4% to €2.4bn (€2.3bn), mainly from the Aircraft side. EBIT stayed almost flat at €0.04bn (€0.03bn). One A440M was delivered in 1Q2024.

147 Comments on “Airbus 1Q2024 results: Airbus CEO: “A350 in-service experience drives positive reputation and orders”

  1. Airbus looks to be crushing it! Big Congrats to them for a job well done.

    • Really ?
      “Free cash flow before customer financing € -1.8 billion”

      Thats negative free cash flow for this quarter when it should be €+3 bill , not what happens when they are crushing it .
      Boeing has negative free cash for obvious reasons.
      Do you have any insight on why Airbus has this happen ?

      • ‘Consolidated free cash flow before customer financing was € -1,791 million (Q1 2023: €-876 million), mainly reflecting the planned inventory build-up resulting from the execution of the ramp-up across programmes.’

        Investing cash back into programs. What a novel concept, huh?

        • Waffle taken from the waffle in report.
          Numbers dont lie , waffle does.

          They have a stable production process with small increments so inventory and work in progress should be similar. No new additional FAL, that was last year with first delivery Q4 2023.

          • Looks like some people have a hard time understanding the concept of investment…

          • Do you work or Boeing? It seems as though you are trying to make out that Airbus are just as badly run and that actually Boeing are doing fine by comparison! Even if they are, though, they’re still producing a lot more planes, seemingly without the same customer issues so they seem to be in reasonable shape!

          • Roger this is about Airbus and its bad quarter. Boeing problems are well covered in other stories and Im well aware what they are

            read the introduction again and try to expand on that and my comment. If you havent a clue , just say so .

            April 23, 2024
            Airbus 1Q2024 results:

          • @Duke

            ‘Airbus and its bad quarter.’

            They’re bad quarter because they invested in Inventory & increased employees? They had positive earnings Duke. Delivered more aircraft than Q1/2023.

            You asked why cash was negative, it was answered, yet you said it was untrue – offering no explanation.

            Is this you, Donnie?

          • Revenue up, profits up, order book is strong, head count (i.e. capacity to deliver on that order book) is up, staff investing their own money in the company (= clearly strong motivation).

            There’s nothing wrong with Airbus’s financial position.

      • Either they hid issues, or they are investing into something big time. I don’t think they are hiding problems.
        They must be smelling blood.

        • 18. Inventories

          Inventories of € 37,656 million (prior year-end: € 33,741 million) increased by € +3,915 million. This is mostly driven by finished goods,
          work in progress, raw materials and manufacturing supplies resulting in inventory build up to support the ramp-up.


          You gotta invest to make money

        • Well, there’s certainly blood to smell. And Airbus would be nuts not to expand when there’s clear market demand for their products.

          But one senses that Airbus are actually holding back a bit; they don’t want to be too obviously seen to have been the agency of Boeing’s demise in its moment of weakness.

          • If Airbus aggressively built the 757 / 767 replacements they could conceivably put Boeing on the ropes. The stock could drop by 80%, and it would take outside money to make them relevant again. That’s if Airbus smelled Blood in the water and wanted to act on it. Or they may continue to watch Boeing self-destruct with more of the same philosophy, for example, allowing a failed regime to appointment its successor. Can you imagine getting fired from a job and having the ego to tell management you know a guy who may help going forward…

      • @Duke

        ‘Numbers dont lie’

        Correct. Here it is, again.

        18. Inventories

        Inventories of € 37,656 million (prior year-end: € 33,741 million) increased by € +3,915 million. This is mostly driven by finished goods,
        work in progress, raw materials and manufacturing supplies resulting in inventory build up to support the ramp-up.


        Almost $4 billion spent on Inventory.

        • “For 2024, Airbus said it continues to expect adjusted EBIT between EUR6.5 billion and EUR7 billion. Free cash flow before customer financing–a closely watched metric by analysts and investors–is projected at around EUR4 billion.”

          Airbus’ finished goods would be delivered in this quarter, unlike its major competitor.

        • Why not say it’s planes built but not delivered.
          Is it A321xlr , or A400m or is it A220 or all of the above.
          It’s interesting when the shoe is on the other foot all we get is the company line parroted, confirms that long held suspicion

          • No. The shoe is NOT on the other foot, no matter how much you want it to be. The Airbus ramp up to 75 on the A320Neo family, to 14 on the A220 family and now to 12 on the A350 family has long been talked about.

            If you have any evidence to the contrary, post it.

            Boeing has explained clearly in black and white, how it’s inventory is bloated by $32 billion of expenses that has been squirreled away.

            Furthermore, I fully expect more cash to be spent on the supply chain in future periods, as Airbus acquired the remnants of Spirit and those plants are brought back in-house.

            This is not something new. I have posted before the Airbus will have to spend cash to do this in other threads. The good news, is that Airbus most certainly has the cash on hand to accomplish it.

            Their cash. Not borrowed monies (once you look at the net debt position). Boeing? Not so much.

            Sorry Duke. It’s a two horse race and we know who is 10 lengths ahead. It’s all over, but the shouting…

            …but nice try.

          • Isn’t it a good example when one can’t see the forest but the trees? Haha.

            P.S. The A321XLR is definitely not FG, is it ready for delivery? Nope. Where are all the A220s? You are throwing spaghetti at the wall and it is proof how desperate you are.

          • So another gish gallop on Boeing memes diverting from why Airbus has considerable negative FCF for the quarter

            let me know where your horses are racing , they must be amazing gallopers
            Just say just ‘ Dont Know’ when it comes Airbus finnacials – not that anybody knows much of what comes out of its Dutch financials HQ.

            Best guess might be its a tax dodge for the 2024 tax year

          • @Duke

            ‘Best guess might be its a tax dodge for the 2024 tax year’

            You aren’t very bright, are you?

            They had positive earnings, which is what you pay taxes on, not cash flow. A buildup in Inventory is simply a transfer from one asset account (cash) to another (inventory).

            ‘Why not say it’s planes built but not delivered.’

            Because that’s a lot of words to say ‘Inventory’ – it’s the same thing as saying someone who lacks the mental capacity to understand simple things like this, is ‘dim-witted’.

            You know, if you are getting paid to write these things from Boeing and actually are part of the PR department, they are not getting bang for their buck.

          • Since when is money spent on warehouses full of inventory called an ‘investment.’
            R&D is investment in future not plane structures and sub assemblies like flaps and undercarriages. I understand the engines for Airbus are paid by the airlines themselves when delivery is mad

            If its long lead items then those are bought in a steady stream month by month , not one quarter thats all out of proportion

            So once again , the most absurd reasons given for some serious problem which is covered up – and no one in the aviation media asking hard questions. Of course some who work from scripts are lost as theirs ‘no guidance ‘

          • @Duke

            Do you just ignore what is written?

            ‘This is mostly driven by finished goods, work in progress, raw materials and manufacturing supplies resulting in inventory build up to support the ramp-up.’


            ‘So once again , the most absurd reasons given for some serious problem which is covered up – and no one in the aviation media asking hard questions.’

            Maybe because it makes perfect sense and in the real world, outside of conspiracy theorists who throw everything against the wall in a desperate attempt that something will stick, it’s just the way a healthy, profitable company goes about it’s business.


            ‘Of course some who work from scripts are lost as theirs ‘no guidance ‘

            And that, ladies and gentlemen – is projection at it’s finest.

    • I see Boing is still claiming that the 777-X will be here in 2025.

      “Here, pull the other one.”

      • Hard to believe the claims coming from Dave Calhoun and Brian West.

        We have heard it all before.

      • So a very informed individual here has told me that once TIA is granted, it’ll take a year to get the aircraft certified. Usually.

        Boeing need a TIA on the 777X program by the end of 2024 to make a 2025 EIS.

    • 777X’ lunch is half eaten already. If Boeing can’t improve, it’ll be its dinner next.

      • Customers dont think so. 453 on order quite a jump from a year or so back, and those are real orders not like the lax EU accounting standards which allow ongoing sales prospect as an ‘order’

        • The main problem here is 777X is still a paper airplane with no reliable delivery, so I doubt those “strict and truthful American accounting standard” orders will be fruitful for Boeing. Those punitive late delivery clauses must hurt… How many customers are counting on those clause and keep their orders because of that?

          • Can you imagine how the poor misfortunates over at Riyadh/Saudia now feel about their big-banner order for 100 787s last year?
            With the production rate for 787s now down to 5 p/m, they’re going to be waiting a LONG time for those planes to be delivered. Meanwhile, their competitors already have or will soon have A350s…even sooner than planned, actually, in view of the coming A350 rate increases.
            And, all the while, the 777X TIA remains as elusive as pixie dust.
            The airline industry is becoming a world of “haves” and “have nots”.

          • Its flying and in low rate production. probably 98% certified.

            What you mean is that is not in airline service yet.

          • Hard to agree it’s “98% certified” when FAA refuses to grant TIA. The last 10% is like 90% of the work.

        • @Dukeofurl

          40% of the backlog is Emirates. That is never a good thing to rely so massively on one customer.

          • Thats because they have ordered for 20 years ahead – to get the best discounts
            Other major carriers – mostly financial reasons – buy in tranches out to maybe 8-10 years
            British Airways for example has 60 older 777 types in its fleet but has orders only 18 B777X and 18 A350K.
            So a lot more orders for Boeing and Airbus to replace its older 777s.

            Emirates flys around 140 older 777s but total deliveries were 192 over 20 years and has ordered 205 777X – but delivery over a very long time not likely much top ups
            As the B777X grows to 800 orders Emirates share will reduce

          • “Thats because they have ordered for 20 years ahead”

            Not a good sign. What you’re saying is Boeing will take 20 years to deliver Emirates’ order. A recipe for low production rate and further losses.

        • 453 orders. How many deliveries?

          A350: 592 deliveries.

          It’s only been in service 4 years before the supposed first delivery of the 777X:


          ‘In 2012, with the Boeing 737 MAX in development and the 787-10 launch in preparation, Boeing decided to slow 777X development to reduce the risk with introduction still forecast for 2019.[10] On May 1, 2013, Boeing’s board of directors approved selling the 353-seat 777-8LX to replace the 777-300ER from 2021, after the larger 406-seat -9X’

          ‘On 15 January 2015, the first A350-900 entered service with Qatar Airways,’


          But let’s play your game;

          The A350 has 685 orders in the backlog. How many of them do you think will be delivered?


          Airbus A350 Break Even Target Achieved In 2019

          ‘Airbus’ long range widebody A350XWB has reached break even point. This means that the costs of setting up the program have been paid back, and the aircraft can now start making the manufacturer money. As it’s only been flying since 2015, a break even within five years is an impressive feat for the European manufacturer.

          Airbus announced in its full year earnings release that the A350 program had reached the break even point. The A350 remains a key product for Airbus, and has become a popular choice for long-haul, dense routes that require a modern, efficient solution.’

          There was a slowdown due to the pandemic, but everything is back on track, now. Even better as they ramp to 12 a month – 10 a month was almost achieved in 2019, when they averaged 9.3 a month.

          How’s that working out for Boeing? Have they started to work off the $6.5 billion write off they took a few years ago?

          Oh no…I forgot – revenue is recognized at delivery. So Zero revenue, only expenses and debt.

          But you go ahead; run down the order book, the inventory build up, the cash flow. Airbus will just keep plowing ahead, working the problems and keep stretching their lead.

        • According to Boeing, only 444 unfilled backlog outstanding at the end of March for 777X. Did you just order nine?

    • The A350 is doing well because it is an outstanding aircraft. The A350-1000 in particular seems to becoming unbeatable in efficiency and range.

      • Indeed.
        With hindsight, we now know that the 787 was such a hot seller because it was essentially being given away at a loss.
        Big order book, no profit, very inadequate delivery rate, no freight variant, and constant quality-related controversy.
        And the 777X is too heavy and constantly delayed.

        Boeing’s widebody lead looks very shaky right now.

        • Here’s the problem with the 787:

          “In 2003, a recent addition to the Boeing board of directors, James McNerney (who would become Boeing’s Chairman and CEO in 2005), supported the need for a new aircraft to regain market share from Airbus. The directors on Boeing’s board, Harry Stonecipher (Boeing’s President and CEO) and John McDonnell issued an ultimatum to “develop the plane for less than 40 percent of what the 777 had cost to develop 13 years earlier, and build each plane out of the gate for less than 60 percent of the 777’s unit costs in 2003”, and approved a development budget estimated at US$7 billion as Boeing management claimed that they would “require subcontractors to foot the majority of costs.” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Alan Mulally, who had previously served as general manager of the 777 programs contrasted the difference in the approval process by the board between the 777 and 787 saying “In the old days, you would go to the board and ask for X amount of money, and they’d counter with Y amount of money, and then you’d settle on a number, and that’s what you’d use to develop the plane. These days, you go to the board, and they say, ‘Here’s the budget for this airplane, and we’ll be taking this piece of it off the top, and you get what’s left; don’t f— up.'”


          It ended up being a $50 billion aircraft, but they’re still charging $20 billion prices for it. Everyone had their rose coloured glasses on and ignored all those (if there were any) who said “Hang on a sec – that’s not how things work…”

          I guess they were told that this is how thing were going to work, from now on…

        • 777-X is certainly going to be a lot heavier than what would nowadays count as a par weight. But with all competition, that matters only if there’s something else that can do the same job and is lighter / more efficient.

          Thing is, there isn’t. The -8 seems to have been wiped out by the A350-1000, but the -9 is going to be in a class of its own, size-wise. Which is the only reason it’s attracting orders at all I should think.

          The picture would change a lot if Airbus launched an A350-1100, but they haven’t. I do wonder why not.

          It’s the same reason why the A380 still makes sense for some airlines. There really is nothing else to match it. Emirates in particular are flying their fleet pretty full so far as I can see, which means it’s at least running at its peak efficiency. And, for slot-constrained destinations, it’s still the most commercially efficient answer, if you can sell all the tickets (which these days seems like a “yes”).

          And, whilst Boeing aren’t delivering 777-9, the A380s still make sense. Though airlines that end up replacing A380s with 777-9 are likely to be disappointing their passengers…

          • “the -9 is going to be in a class of its own, size-wise. Which is the only reason it’s attracting orders at all I should think.”

            I don’t about other airlines who’ve ordered both the A350-1000 and 777-9 but British Airways actually have more seats on the A350 (331) than they will have on the -9 (325). The difference is they’re having the -9 as a more premium heavy aircraft with a small First cabin so it should in theory see higher revenue.

  2. I wonder to which extent Boeing can hurt Airbus through the sale of the Airbus dedicated Spirit assets.

    I wonder what are the negotiation levers ? On one hand Airbus does not really have an alternative and needs the Dela to happen. On the other competition regulators may prevent the Spirit acquisition going forward at Boeing if Airbus assets are not divested.

    Calhoun is still rooting for S. Pope so if Shanahan fails to strike a fast deal with Airbus, it’s in his interest.

    • The Spirit deal won’t go ahead if European (and other) regulators aren’t happy with it.
      It may come as a big shock to US readers, but US mergers & acquisitions are also subject to approval in other countries: see, for example, the following links:

      I think we can assume that Spirit operations in Belfast and Morocco will be going to Airbus, but the big stumbling block will be the Spirit facility in Kinston, NC, which makes an important fuselage portion for the A350. Spirit US also makes some smaller parts for the A220. This will all have to be disentangled to the satisfaction of US and EU antitrust authorities…as well as antitrust authorities in Canada, China, etc. (all countries in which the parties involved conduct business).
      It’s going to be a long grind.

      • The EU would care if per se Boeing wanted to take Airbus’ part of the business. But ultimately they don’t. so it doesn’t really affect EU businesses or consumers.

        Secondly, it’s vertical integration which is a lot easier to get though than acquiring a competitor etc

        Can’t see it being a problem.

        Boeing actually isn’t even waiting on Airbus and spirit to come to n agreement. They’re forging ahead.

        The US regulators have already signalled that they’re not going to get in the way of that deal.

        • My guess is: Airbus is not going to pay Spirit for its money losing operations. Who would blame them?

          Furthermore, how Boeing can afford to acquire Spirit without endangering its investment grade credit rating??

          • IDK how likely it could be and what’s in the heads of these decision-makers:

            From the Air Current:
            “Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems had wanted to have a deal done by the announcement of the aerospace giant’s first quarter results on April 24, according to two industry officials familiar with each company’s objectives.”

        • Once again:
          Anti-trust regulators outside the US can and will block anything that doesn’t satisfy them, e.g. having an Airbus competitor manufacturing parts for Airbus.
          Boeing can try to tell us (and itself?) that it’s “forging ahead”, but it won’t achieve anything without the necessary European approval.

          And, by the way: China also has to approve. That’s going to be fun!

          • But that’s the thing. Boeing is not buying the Airbus part of the business. They’re leaving that with spirit and Airbus to deal with.

            It is forging ahead regardless because they still have to get a deal first before even then agreeing on financing. So we are away from regulatory part yet, we won’t get there maybe till the end of the year. So they are still forging ahead with or without Airbus agreeing with spirit, but they’re just buying their programs bac

            So yes they’re still forging ahead

          • @ Opus

            The Spirit facilities in both Wichita and Kinston make parts for both Boeing and Airbus. Boeing therefore won’t be buying those facilities until the Airbus activities there are divested to the satisfaction of foreign regulators…it’s that simple.

            The only thing with which Boeing is “forging ahead” is self-delusion.

          • Airbus barely has anything in Wichita, if at all. But Wichita is key and makes most of Boeings part.

            So Airbus couldn’t care less about Wichita.

          • @Opus
            I think Boeing’s objective is more than Wichita. We’ll see how this develops in coming months and quarters.

            @Frank P
            Do you have time to construct a proforma B/S for Boeing+Spirit? I don’t think it looks good.

          • @ Opus

            The word “barely” isn’t relevant here.
            Wichita manufactures some parts for the A220. Until those activities are divested to the satisfaction of European anti-trust regulators, there’ll be no acquisition of Wichita by Boeing. It’s that simple.

            Now, in today’s world of constrained supply chains, try finding another supplier that can seamlessly provide Airbus with the necessary parts. Good luck with that!

            This acquisition is going to take a LONG time to organize. Of course, that message doesn’t suit Boeing’s PR department…but it’s the unavoidable reality on the ground.

          • @Pedro

            Boeing + Spirit? You’re talking next level Consolidation accounting, without knowledge of what valuation to attribute to the components involved.

            That’s the problem with this thing – every business unit that is broken off will have to have their internal assessment of how profitable it is, what assets it possesses, what portion of the debt is attributed to it, etc.

            There are all kinds of numbers involved here, which we don’t have the info for.



            So Boeing is only going to buy what it wants and leave the rest in a wounded Spirit – for the Spirit shareholders to limp along with?

            Who’s to say those shareholders will go along with it? You’re talking about some two-thirds of the business, walking out the door.

            There’s the conundrum facing Boeing.

            BA wants and needs to acquire parts of Spirit to get it’s house in order. I get the feeling that Airbus would be quite happy to keep things the way they are.

            But losing that much revenue at Spirit would be a death knell for the company, which means that Airbus could simply wait for it to go Ch 11 and then pick up the pieces it wants.

            There is also Embraer involved here, IIRC – as Spirit makes some stuff for them, no?

            So Brasilian regulators will also have a seat at the table. This is not a ‘get it done quick’ kinda thing. It’s gonna take a bit and it always bad for the party who needs the deal done, more than the others.

      • Faury strikes me as a practical man. He is not the typical Airbus Fan Boy on this site.

        He will reach a fair deal. It is inevitable.

        • Practical enough to avoid having debt-ridden, non-profitable Spirit parts shoved down his throat by a desperate counterpart.

          Practical enough to bide his time while his counterpart has to pay compenation for voided/displaced contracts.

          Yes, indeed…he’s a practical man. And he’s in no rush.

  3. Bloomberg:

    “The accelerated build rates underscore the diverging fortunes between the two companies. In contrast to Airbus, Boeing has been forced to slow down production of its 737 model as regulators demand the company improve its factory processes on its workhorse plane.

    “On Wednesday, Boeing said it had burnt through $3.9 billion in the first quarter, ending the first three months with $7.5 billion in cash and short-term securities, down from $16 billion at the start of the year. Airbus has gained about 14% so far this year, while Boeing is down 38%, hitting its lowest point in more than a year. ”

    Boeing burns cash on losses.
    Airbus invests cash from profits.

  4. Airbus has been steadily broadening it’s A350 customer base, close to 90 airlines now. Including most of the legacy long haul carriers and 777-9 customers.

    Over time many of those are upgrading from the A350-900 to the -1000, just like they used to upgrade from the 777-200ER to the -300ER.

    I can’t see the article from Bjorn with the performance models, but if the -1000 is 30-35t lighter than the -9, but still has better payload-range, for me that pretty much tells the story.

    • I think it’s less to do with performance and more to do with availability.

      350-1000 always had a payload range advantage. 777-9 has a sheer size advantage. You want to carry more, you get the 777-9

      It has gotten two new customers this year with Korean about to be the third. But the 777-9 has sold about 420 units.

      Both are selling. But ultimately the 777-9 is still about 50 seats larger so both can work well together as we’ve seen for quite a few airlines

      • The size avantage has shrunk considerably as a result of the recent introduction of 10-abreast on the A350…it’s now down to about 20 seats. On the other hand, a 777X operator will still have to constantly lug 30 tons of dead OEW as a severe penalty for that minimal size difference.
        Not the end of the world when fuel prices are relatively low…but a drama if they rise significantly.

        • Really, 10 abreast on the A-350. Hard to believe. It’s 10″ narrower than the already too tight a fit for 10 abreast 777-200/300. It’s 20+” narrower than the proper 10 abreast 747. It’s nearly 3 ft. narrower than the generous 10 abreast A-380.

      • “A third industry source with knowledge of the matter said Korean is in continuous discussions with Boeing on potential orders, but does not have immediate firm plans to take new 777s.”

        TBH I don’t see how KE/OZ is able to retire their A380 anytime soon.

        • We were also told a while ago that Indigo was “on the verge” of ordering a whole bunch of 787s…but they went with the A350 instead.

          Based on recent history, it’s prudent to take rumors of “imminent” orders of Boeing aircraft with a pinch of salt.

          • And for months it was reported that Saudi was close to a deal with Airbus on the 350 but they bought 120 787s?

            It was also reported for months that air India was going with the 350 but they bought 787s and 777Xs as well but I guess you don’t take a grain of salt with Airbus rumors

            Like guys grow up.

            It happens on both sides. You can take a pinch of salt on anything.

            Didn’t Boeing just close 20 777-9s last month?

            Like I understand you guys have an infatuation with Airbus but I’m just trying to paint a fair picture without the fanboyism.

            The point is both aircraft are good.

            The performance of the 35K has always been better than the 779. But the 35k is available now, the 779? Well nobody can definitely answer that question and that tips the scale massively but even then, there’s still some demand for it.

            Like the whole idea that everything Boeing makes is bad is just very simple minded. Boeing has problems 100% but let’s be adults

          • @ Opus

            Important to realize that the Saudi and Indian deals were last year — before the most recent meltdown at Boeing.

            Things have changed since then. Korea and Japan have defected to the A350. Turkish placed a huge Airbus order. Indigo went with the A350. UA made a mad dash for leased A321neos.

            There’s a new reality in town.

          • JAL deflected to the 350? They ordered the 350 almost 13 years ago.

            There’s no point in arguing because it’s wasting time. We will see how things pan out.

            Boeing closed 20 777-9s last month, rumour is it’s TK.

            And KE well, they’re in talks have rumours have said.

            At the end of the day we will see how it goes

          • @Abalone

            What I think a lot of people lose sight of is that one of the greatest sales threat to the 777X (or A350) is from smaller aircraft that are capable of flying the same route.

            There is a real concern to being one of a handful of airlines operating very large aircraft with there being a narrow Tier2 market of interested buyers.

            Any A330 or B787 purchase has a much smaller risk of turning into a white elephant.

          • @Opus

            ‘The point is both aircraft are good.’

            And how, do you, know that?

            Boeing doesn’t even have a TIA yet and there are exactly ZERO 777x’s in actual service, doing duty with airlines.

            Everyone thought the 737Max was ‘good’. Everyone thought the Pratt GTF was ‘good’. Everyone thought the 777X was good for certification in 2019.

            You just don’t know, until you get there.

            When the 777X is in service and has had a few years of problem free service, with the folding wing-tips – when those super large engine have had a couple years of trouble free service and show the promised fuel burn…you can start to call it ‘good’.

            And even then, you never know, do you?

            There are over 1,100 787’s in service. Problems there.

            Get back to us when your plane is flying for airlines for a bit, before calling it ‘good’.

        • The same Article:

          Chairman of KE said

          “We’ve been their customer, we’ve been their user for a long, long time…a satisfied customer of their 777s and that’s what I’m looking at right now. And so hopefully soon we’ll be announcing that as well.”

          KE said 380 is out 2026

          • I know. The fact of the matter is there’s nothing the size of, or anywhere close to, A380 in KE’s fleet or on order.

          • The chairman said that in 2021*. What happened after that??
            KE ordered 787-10 in 2019 and still hasn’t received a single one. It also takes time to refurbish OZ fleet if they choose to go down that route.

            The 15-64 population in Korea is projected to shrink from 36.6 to 24.5m by 2050, or one-third, over the likely operational life of the 777X.

            How would you bet?

      • Please take a look at the most recent comparison article by Leeham. The 322-ton A 350-1000 is significantly more efficient than the 777-9 on long-haul routes with cargo and has about 1000 nm more range.

        The 777-9 will find its niche in medium to long-haul flights when more passengers are needed or performance is needed out of hot airports.

        The A350-100o will find its niche in long—to ultra-long-haul flights with the right number of passengers and cargo, but it will be a more versatile aircraft than the 777-300ER.

        • Qatar’s A350-1000s seem to be doing just fine out of the hot, harsh airport in Doha.
          What real-world performance data do we have for the GE9X?

        • The 777-9 is a much bigger plane with more passengers and cargo than the A350K
          The ULR version of the A350K – for Qantas only at the moment- has unknown capabilities , but requires an extra major fuselage tank to achieve its numbers. Its not the standard A350K. Its closest competitor is the 777-8X plane as far as passenger capacity goes. To push out the range of the 777-9 an extra tank also could be used , but unlikely as it doesnt need a ‘fix’ like the A350K
          Similar fixes are used in A320 neo type , to match the range of the B737 Max , it requires an extra fuselage tank. LNA has previously explained like for like comparisons and what the media brochures dont tell you but airlines know.

          This explains why major airlines have both B777-9 and A350K on order and flying. They wouldnt do this unless theres a capability step between them

          • “This explains why major airlines have both B777-9 and A350K on order and flying.”

            (1) Please clarify for us: which airlines are currently “flying” the 777-9?
            (2) The recent series of articles here on Leeham by Mr. Fehrm has pointed out that the A350-1000 has undergone multiple enhancements since intro. Airlines with old — and cancellable — orders for 777-9s will be looking closely at those differences. There’s not much point in lugging around 30t of extra OEW for the sake of 20 more seats and a little extra cargo…particularly now that oil prices are on the rise.

          • @Abalone

            ‘This explains why major airlines have both B777-9 and A350K on order and flying.’

            In his revisionist history mind, everything is fine and the 777X was certified in 2019. It’s been in airline service and has been flying people around the world safely for 5 years now. Been profitable for BCA too, as a matter of fact.

          • major airlines have both types planned or in service.
            the B777-9 has greater capability for revenue than the smaller A350K, even with its expensive IGW, interior frame sculpting, extra fuselage tank.

            This is why the big Boeing has outsold the ‘K’ by 120%

          • @Duke

            There is no ‘in service’ for the 777X program. Get back to us in 2026, when they’re being delivered. If they’re being delivered.


            So you focus on 1 model and say “Look!”


            Orders and deliveries by type
            Type Orders Deliveries Backlog
            A350-900 923 508 415
            A350-1000 299 84 215
            A350F 55 – 55
            A350 family 1,277 592 685

            Type Orders Deliveries Backlog
            B777-8 43 0 43
            B777-9 373 0 373
            B777-8F 55 0 55
            TOTAL 471 0 471

            How many times is 923 more than 43?

  5. “Comac jets ‘worth looking at’ for AirAsia future fleet growth: Fernandes”

    “AirAsia Group advisor Tony Fernandes is not ruling out Comac aircraft from future fleet planning, becoming the latest in a growing number of airline leaders to comment on the Chinese airframer. ”

    Well-timed moves by COMAC now could secure it a nice slice of the pie.

    • Fernandes’ comments in that piece re: COMAC are worth reading. Thanks for the link.

      • Fernandes’ comment
        “He had previously visited Comac’s facilities in Shanghai, sharing on his LinkedIn page that he was “blown away” by what he saw. ”I have no doubt that we now have a third choice [of airframer]. What impressed me most [was] Comac’s desire to be a long-term partner and [their] genuine friendship,” he wrote.”

        • Smart move. Even if you just use Comac to beat down the other two over pricing.

          • “Airbus is in talks with China over a potentially major aircraft order ahead of a visit to France by Chinese President Xi Jinping, two people familiar with the matter said.”

        • What FG’s report missed?

          Fernandes wrote:
          “Recently visited COMAC and was blown away by what they have achieved. It’s not easy building a plane. I have no doubt that we now have a third choice. But what impressed me the most COMAC desire to be a long term partner and there was genuine friendship. No ego and a real Desire to win together. Their factory was completely automated using AI. Never seen anything like it in my life. Many firms in the west have forgotten loyalty* and customer service and have forgotten the value of trust and a long term strategy in exchange for short term gain* and a very short term view* as opposed to really understanding their customers problems and working together to win.”

          • hahaha. Sounds like North Korea , where they applaud the leaders every word
            “Their factory was completely automated using AI” Doesnt have a clue what AI really means . Its just ordinary automation thats been around since 1980s
            Love you long time Comac

          • “… noting she’d observed executives from all sorts of companies and countries showing up for a peek inside Comac’s hospitality tent”. They’re looking for more than the delicacies served.

            “Riyadh Air’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew said Comac will become a major force in the international aircraft manufacturing industry in the next decade as it emerges as an alternative to the world’s planemaking duopoly.”

            Worth to watch how many C919 are delivered in 2024? Ten or more? That would be a significant jump from last year.

          • I see those who “have forgotten the value of trust and a long term strategy in exchange for short term gain and a very short term view” and embraced FCF at all cost are now shaking in their boots.

  6. The a340-600 has a payload range advantage over B777-300er. Airbus is going to have to stretch the -1000 and still have a respectable payload range. For aircraft designers 7000-8200 is the prime for 98% of all route. The -1000 is over range for the real estate available. When 777x is certify this will start to manifest greatly.

  7. Fitch just downgraded Boeing to “negative” from “stable”.
    Sorry I can’t provide a link ATM.

    • More on that story:

      “Boeing Credit Outlook Gets Gloomier as Fitch Also Turns Negative”

      (Bloomberg) — Fitch Ratings became the third major credit grader to turn pessimistic on Boeing Co. as the planemaker’s crisis brings scrutiny to its balance sheet.

      The ratings company lowered the outlook on its BBB- rating to negative from stable, according to a statement on Friday. S&P Global Ratings did the same a day earlier, which followed Moody’s Ratings downgrading the aerospace giant to a step above junk Wednesday after it released first-quarter results.

      Boeing said it burned through $3.9 billion of cash in the first quarter as it slowed 737 Max production in the wake of a near-disaster involving one of the planes in January. The company predicted another “sizable” use of cash this quarter.

      Fitch said its negative outlook reflects “heightened execution risks” at Boeing the next year or two as it normalizes production, navigates seasonal cash-flow swings and repays debt, among other issues. The new outlook also incorporates Fitch’s view that Boeing could issue new debt to guard against early 2025 cash-flow risks.

      Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West said during a Wednesday conference call that he intends to protect the company’s investment-grade rating, and that the company still has access to $10 billion in untapped credit lines. He added Boeing is monitoring its access to cash and believes it still has “significant market access” if it needs to supplement liquidity.”

      “While downgrading Boeing to the brink of junk, Moody’s also put its outlook at negative, which it defines as meaning a company faces the chance of a ratings downgrade in the medium term. That’s commonly seen by market participants as 18 to 24 months.

      Fitch said it could stabilize its outlook if Boeing delivers more than 100 of its already-built 737 Max from inventory and half of its inventoried 787 Dreamliners by early next year while boosting 737 production toward 38 jets per month.”

      That’s a VERY tall order there in that last paragraph…

      • Well, it’s certainly taken a while for the likes of Moody and Fitch to spot the obvious.

        One wonders sometimes what their reports are in response to. It seems more like they’re estimating when the market will start reacting badly to the things going on in a company, and not pointing out that things are bad in a company.

        Boeing has been a financial risk since they got taken over by MD, that became more likely when they had problems with the 787 and launched the MAX, became a near certainty when MAX’s started falling out of the sky and for the reasons why, and has remained there ever since thanks to the nearly constant series of “quality escapes” that have emerged ever since on MAX, 787 and KC-46 (i.e everything they’ve got to sell).

        It’s only now that a door plug has blown out and the FAA is making some deadly serious noises about withdrawing their production certificate that the likes of Moody and Fitch are now saying “er, there might be a problem here guys”. Which is odd, because the rot has been on display for all to see for a long time now. It’s always been a simple matter of when not if the rot overwhelms everything.

        **Market Share**

        And of course, throughout this entire multi-decade period Boeing has been losing market share to Airbus, more or less unchecked.

        It’s the “unchecked” part that matters; if Boeing keeps losing market share to Airbus, it’ll end up eventually with such low market share that it’s not viable to operate in the market. Worse, apart from getting 777-x into service, Boeing has zero plans to do anything about that any time in the next 10 years (no new models).

        That is exactly what killed off all those small individual European companies back in the old days when they all tried to make their own aircraft and compete in a market where the US manufacturers significantly out-built them. Boeing are headed towards being in that position themselves.

        It’s already had some experience of what it’s like to operate in a market with low market share; the production shutdowns they’ve had on 787, MAX are examples of “no revenue”, and are just a foretaste of what is to come.

  8. @ Pedro said above:

    “@Frank P
    Do you have time to construct a proforma B/S for Boeing+Spirit? I don’t think it looks good.”

    Well, for starters, anyone acquiring Spirit as a going concern (as opposed to acquiring it out of bankruptcy) is going to inherit Spirit’s $4.17B in debt:,current%20and%20non%2Dcurrent%20debts.

    On top of that: when was the last time that Spirit returned a profit?

    A commenter on CNBC said a few weeks ago:
    “It’s not a good thing when one distressed company purchases another distressed company”.

    • It’s more complicated than that. Consolidation accounting usually is. For example;

      Look at Belfast. Boeing cannot buy or retain that plant, as it produce for Airbus. But over the years it has accumulated ‘Spirit’ stuff, meaning there is a portion of the overall company debt that is attributed to it. There maybe job functions that were eliminated there (duplication savings) that cannot go with the sale. Inter-company revenues have to be subtracted (if any, but would be much more complex at one of the plants in the US).

      There is another party involved – Embraer.

      Right on pg 3 of their financials – 17% of revenues are ‘Other’.

      Defense and Space is 13%, aftermarket 6% and the rest commercial. Is there a plant that makes stuff for Boeing, Airbus, Embraer & maybe the US gov’t? IIRC a US defense contractor has to have a US citizen as it’s CEO.

      Does Airbus just try to do an asset sale – sell us the plant, equipment and inventory? Employees are then hired by Airbus starting from zero? It has happened.

      Is Spirit in such poor shape that if Boeing buys what it wants and leaves the rest in a slimmed down Spirit that has one third the revenue, it’ll go Ch 11 and Airbus can buy what it wants for a song and a dance?

      Airbus is in the catbird seat here. It has the cash and it has contracts to get the parts it needs. If the sale to BA doesn’t happen, it probably doesn’t change much for them.

      Then there is this (and I know a certain engineer will jump in here to tell me how difficult this is to accomplish):

      A smart manager will have already asked his people “OK – we’re talking about buying what we need and bringing all this back in house. Since it’s all going to part of Airbus, I want to know two things;

      1) What does it cost to build new plants ourselves, wherever the heck we want, to get this up and running ourselves?

      2) How long does it take us to do this?

      Starting fresh, not being saddled with the stench and remnants of a previous owner, is sometimes the way to go. Difficult, yes. But not impossible.

      (for instance – the Belfast wing plant. Could Airbus put up a building(s) next to where the A350 barrel sections are made, using it’s staff to make it work…and walk away from the other place?)

      I’m just putting it out there…

      • Embraer is the biggest ‘system integrator’ plane maker on the planet
        Very little is made in Embraer owned plants, or even in Brazil. Some airframe assemblies come from Everett, across the field from Boeing , likewise from all the major T1 and T2 suppliers around the world. Embraer certainly isnt going to get into the supplier airframe assemblies business. Its crazy talk.

        Same goes for your ‘Airbus barrels’ , it doesnt work that way . Airbus uses the panel method from smaller suppliers who ship to company owned fuselage plants where the panels and ring frames and floor sections plus other hardware are all stitched together and pre stuffed

        What Spirit does make is A350 wing spars and centre section fuselage panels for delivery to the St Nazaire Airbus fuselage plant and UK Airbus wing plant at Broughton. They are made at a specialist plant in Kinston NC.

        A separate Spirit former Bombardier plant at Prestwick Scotland makes A320 wing and trailing edge ‘hardware’

        Information about what and where it makes it is provided by Spirit

        You’re welcome .

  9. “Reduced Leap-1B output weighing on CFM’s full-year delivery plans, says Safran chief”

    “CFM International’s planned increase in the rate of Leap engine deliveries this year could face a further downward revision if Boeing does not resolve its 737 Max production issues, one half of the narrowbody propulsion joint venture has cautioned.”

    Touting MAX deliveries of 50 p/m, being limited to 38 by the FAA, but actually only producing 15…that’s a shortfall of 35 p/m, which equates to 70 LEAP 1Bs p/m, and 840 per year.

    • You’re not wrong – the problem is the rest of the supply chain.

      If CFM makes a kit and kaboodle of engines and ships them to Airbus, yet they sit there collecting dust, waiting for landing gears, or avionics, or any other part of the aircraft that is bottlenecked by another supplier…

      …it does no good.

      Maybe they can build up a little bit of a backlog, but engines are paid for by the airlines. If an airline is expecting to take delivery of 20 – A321Neo’s this year, and CFM makes the 40 required engines, but says:

      “Hey we can make the next 40 for your 20 jets in 2025 and ship ’em to Airbus, right away”

      You think the airlines will pay for it right away? Do you think they want their engines sitting there? Is it healthy for them to be waiting to be hung on wings? Do airlines want to tie up capital for an asset they can’t use?

      Or will they want CFM to stick to the schedule and take direction from Airbus when the rest of the plane is ready?

        • Yes, in a smooth, controlled manner – along with the rest of the supply chain and within a few years.

          If Boeing suddenly is limited (and they’re not even able to make it to 38) to a lower number and CFM is firing on all cylinders for a number that is higher than that and airlines like SWA who were supposed to get some 60 in a year from BA, are now only getting 20, what does CFM do with those 80 extra engines?

          Still ship them to Boeing and ask SWA for payment? What does the contract say?

    • And to that point;

      Boeing has found out, in spades, the risk of inventory build-up. An aircraft, once built, is a depreciating asset that costs money , even if it’s just sitting there, doing nothing.

      For example:

      You own an airline and want to buy a Max. You got to BA and they offer you a choice:

      1) You can have a brand new Max, right off the line, with all the updates and everything brand spanking new, with that new car smell.


      2) You can have a Max that has been sitting there since 2019 or 2020, with the engines on it, having been refurbed and moved around, sitting out in the elements, with a few years of stress on the metals and components on it and fluids in the piping.

      Boeing says they will warranty both the same for you and either choice will cost you $40 million.

      Which one are you buying?

  10. Airbus continues to hone the A330neo, via intermediate t/o flaps settings
    and quicker gear retraction. The article is at Simple Flying.. wish I could
    provide a link, but this new linux-based machine does not make it easy, sorry.

    By the way- I wonder how Boing is getting along with their 787F?

    • 787X is a mostly all new plane. Hows thing going at the A321XLR minor modifications is the question you should be asking
      Its been 5 years since it was ‘launched /sold’ for what ? new wing flaps and a new fuel tank !

      • Progress “smoother” than the one launched in Nov 2013 by Boeing and supposed to EIS like five years ago.

  11. Someone recently posted this elsewhere, but given what was brought up earlier in the comment section, I think it very relevant. A bit of a read, but worth it:



    These days, everyone desperately seems to become part of this cluster-fest, to experience their own climactic pleasure from this activity called Free Cash Flow and the mindset surrounding it. Boeing, its successive Welchian leaders, all analysts out there, shareholders, other gawkers, and media and the public at large, ALL of them want to talk about one thing and one thing only, which is FREE CASH FLOW. Everyone is drunk on this singular concept, and all of them feel exuberant at the mere mention of FCF.

    Boeing has successfully obfuscated the attention from its myriad and deadly manufacturing and quality problems away to a singular but deeply misguided focus on FCF. The only thing Boeing wants to talk about is how fast and how many of their substandard planes are leaving the hangars in Washington state and South Carolina. But the cash cows have finally returned home, and you can almost smell the stench of doom in the air.

    -Major airline CEOs refusing to be in the same room as prime FCF protagonist and the current CEO to hear about BA’s plan to fix quality and safety issues (once and for all)
    -Totally pathetic interview given by the CEO on CNBC yesterday with Phil Lebeau when earnings came out. He is talking about “we are going to fix this, and we are going to end this, and we are going to do this and that”….Sir, you are not supposed to break things to begin with, and trying later to take credit for “fixing” things that are so abysmally wrong at your company. This stuff happened under your watch, how about saying on TV instead, “I am responsible for this, I take ownership for everything bad happening at Boeing”. DC is like a severely drunk driver who causes a major crash on the road, and later tries to claim the credit for rushing the injured and the dying to the hospital. Give me a break, Sir. Oh and yes, he did try to slip in his fantasy about reaching FCF of 10 billion by 2025 end in the interview. The guy simply cannot drink enough of his own FCF cool aid.
    -CEO is still living in a Welchian world of his own creation. When asked about the FAA scrutiny and the 90 day production safety plan by Lebeau of CNBC, DC callously stated something like, “we all want the same thing, and they will agree to our plan…”. This man, after the 737 MAX-8 disasters and Alaska door blow off, and many, many other mishaps, still appears to think that the FAA is in Boeing’s back pocket, and that the regulators will simply roll over and bow to Boeing, as they have done time and time before. The stench of arrogance and hubris is all around, no humility whatsoever.
    -In the same interview he tried to deflect the blame again on to Spirit. Sir, Spirit was once owned by Boeing, may I remind you? It was spun off by your company to outsource the manufacturing operations and to lower the costs! Why? To boost the Free Cash Flow, of course!!! To blame Spirit (however well justified) for making substandard fuselages based on Boeing designs is just so abhorrent. What happened to the “buck stops here” philosophy?
    -CEO DC is being pushed out of the company, Stan Neal is already gone. But people like them are still being worshipped at the temple of FCF financial gimmickry, a practice perfected by Jack Welch and his many underlings.
    But consider that:
    –after the “fool’s pop” yesterday to $177, the stock has come down (rightfully) around 160 today. Some of that pop could have come from some short covering, in addition to FCF worshippers smelling a “turnaround” which really does not exist! There is much more potential downside from here, especially since planes keep failing in the skies, creating a non-stop barrage of bad news for the company and near death experiences for the flying public and airline crew.
    –What If a Transatlantic or Transpacific flight goes down into the vast oceans because of mechanical failure, taking down with it 300-400 people, with the wreckage never to be found? That will bankrupt this company overnight! Bad manufacturing and quality control processes have a price, sometimes very steep and deadly! When it comes to life-and-death situations at 35,000 feet, even a small disaster at those altitudes 1000 miles away from the nearest land have the likelihood of only one outcome, which is the aircraft going down and hundreds dying with it.
    -The only reason Boeing is not already bankrupt and the common stock not worthless yet is the Duopoly Shield. Airlines have nowhere to turn to when it comes to buying planes, outside of Airbus and Boeing. Airbus cannot keep up with and fulfil the humongous demand for its planes from all over the world. Having flown in just about every kind of Airbus and Boeing aircraft all over the world, I can say this much, that being in an Airbus plane just has a very different vibe to it, something you just do not feel in any Boeing plane. Airlines are forced to buy substandard and unsafe planes from Boeing because of the duopoly structure. They have no choice in this matter. Boeing knows this, and has tried to push out substandard and unsafe planes on airlines and the flying public. But it is all catching up with the company, finally!
    -Boeing is in commercial aviation business, where missteps in manufacturing and quality have life and death consequences. It is not in the business of stitching clothes, where a small tear or hole is only likely to result in some embarrassment, but not into a life threatening disaster, as is the case with stitching planes together. The company needs to understand this very simple difference.
    -Shareholders and flying public should brace themselves for any number of disastrous events at flying altitude. What we see and know about today is only what has been discovered, reported, and exposed. As it is said about roaches, if you see one there are most likely a whole lot more hiding behind the walls that you cannot see.

    I have a new twist on the FCF concept. Lets think of this somewhat differently:
    Forget Cash Flow!
    (I am tempted to say **** Cash Flow…but I do not want to be blocked here)
    Fix Company First!
    Fix the quality and safety issues first, make JUST ONE PLANE every month but make it perfectly safe, and then rinse and repeat. Earn again the confidence and adoration of the flying public and airlines that you once deserved and enjoyed (before the successive Welchian bean-counting CEOs took on the reins). Cash flow will automatically follow if the airlines, the government, and the flying public trust your planes to be safe enough to fly in again.

    • Thanks for posting all that, Frank. Those who worship at the Church of
      Free Cash Flow are a source of amazement to me: as though that one
      not-very-informative metric is a decent measure of the health of a company..

  12. With regard to the discussion above w.r.t. the (attempted) takeover of Spirit Aero by Boeing — which is a far more complex process than Boeing evidentlly fooled itself into believing — there’s a very fundamental question:
    What does Boeing think it can achieve by this takeover?

    Does Boeing somehow think that quality will be better assured under Boeing oversight than under Spirit oversight? If it does, then that’s the laugh of the century! A few examples:
    – The door removal underlying the Alaska incident occurred at a Boeing facility. The people who conducted the removal may have been from Spirit, but oversight on Boeing’s floor is Boeing’s responsibility.
    – The tequila bottles left behind on AF1 –> that one was on Boeing.
    – The wrenches that O’Leary finds on his “100 million dollar kit” –> those are left behind by Boeing.
    – All that FOD left behind on Charleston 787s –> that’s all due to Boeing.
    – Jumping up and down on 787 fuselage sections and improper shimming of mated 787 fuselage sections –> good old Boeing!
    – The ongoing electrical problems on the MAX –> look no further than Boeing.
    – The endless list of screw-ups on the KC-46A, and the use of hundreds of meters of flammable tape on Starliner –> ask Boeing.

    BUT: if Boeing acquires Spirit, then — Lo and behold! — quality will suddenly improve? Is that the theory?

    PLUS: as others here have asked, how come Airbus doesn’t appear to be having any problems with the various parts that *it* receives from Spirit?

  13. Excellent video again from Mentour

    Boeing’s Downfall – Before the McDonnell Douglas Merger

    ‘In 19 years, Boeing introduced 5 new jet types; 727, 737, 747, 757, 767. The merged McDonnell Douglas never designed an original airliner (all derivatives)’

  14. I’m glad DoU’s around. A clear favorite, forever tilting at windmills in its unique and so-colorful way. Thanks, Duke!

  15. Yes, I too am hoping DoU will tell us more about these “in-service” 777-Xs
    that he keeps prating on about. I think they can be found very near to tonight’s Snipe hunt..


  16. They are not in service . Ordered at 160% higher than the in service A350K

    Just a reminder when was the A350K announced with orders and when did it enter service
    “On 1 December 2006, the Airbus board of directors approved the industrial launch of the – XWB- A350-800, -900, and -1000 variants”

    March 2018 launch customer Qatar Air put its A350K into service.

    11 years .. ‘a paper plane ‘
    If it was done under the current tougher standards Im pretty sure it would have been 15 years a paper plane. look at the minor changes for the A321XLR and how long thats taking, as they are chasing their tail. heavier empty weight means gross weight needs to increase , which means back round you go

    • ‘They are not in service . Ordered at 160% higher than the in service A350K’

      Wow – now it’s 160%. Just a few posts before:

      ‘This is why the big Boeing has outsold the ‘K’ by 120%’

      A couple more threads and it’ll be 200%.


      Could you please then give us your analysis on the rest of the 777X/A350 competition, please? Especially the part where the A350-900 has 923 orders and the 777-8 has 43 orders.

      The maybe a little assessment of where both programs stand against each other:

      A350 family 1,277 592 685

      777X family 471 0 471


      Then maybe, since the A350 broke even in 2019 and has repaid the investment made in it – you could project out for us when you think the 777X program will become profitable for BA and when you think the $6.5 billion write off will be covered?


      ‘If it was done under the current tougher standards Im pretty sure it would have been 15 years a paper plane. look at the minor changes for the A321XLR and how long thats taking, as they are chasing their tail.’

      The XLR is going into service this year, one year extra and has actually faced the tougher scrutiny and standards. Chasing their tail? No – that would be Boeing, who is chasing after Airbus.

      But you go with that story. Keep trying to run down the competition as they just keep on plowing money back into the company to expand their production capacity and widen their lead.

      It’s all over but the shouting, Duke. Enjoy #2.

      (Boeing better hope that Comac doesn’t get together with Embraer otherwise it’ll be in 3rd place…)

  17. People assume the 777-9 carries more, further than the A350-1000, because its bigger. Look again at payload-range.

    • LNA: The latest MTOW hike to 322t gives the A350 a clear payload-range advantage over the 777-9.

    • A 777-9 is physically bigger than a A350-1000, but not more capable on long haul.

      On a 6000NM flight, a 779 has max payload of 60,9t, an A350-1000: 68.3t.
      On a 7000NM flight, a 779 has max payload of 47.0t, an A350-1000: 56.7t.

      Significant. While an empty A350-1000 weighs 30t (!) less than an empty 777-9.

      Boeing has a WB efficiency issue with the new 777-9, but nobody dares to say so. |Because the program has unprecedented certification issues too & we need Boeing / competition.

      The RR geared Ultrafan seems aimed at the A350 and Airbus worked on stretches, less cockpit crew configurations/ certification in recent years. The A350 mid-life upgrade technology is going through its TRL’s as we speak. Airbus aims at 12 / month.

      • At this point, Airbus can do a simple stretch of the A35K to match the floor area of the 77X-9 while retain competitive operating cost.
        May be this will come with the mid-life update 10 years from now?

  18. Bloomberg: China Southern Joins Deal Frenzy for C919 Jet to Rival Duopoly

  19. Uh-oh:

    Boeing taps debt market to raise $10 billion, sources say

    (Reuters) – Boeing on Monday tapped debt markets to raise $10 billion, after the U.S. planemaker burned $3.93 billion in free cash during the first quarter following slowing production of its best-selling jet, sources familiar with the matter said.

    Boeing’s credit rating hovered above “junk” status last week after new action from rating agencies as the planemaker tries to recover from a crisis that began in January after a midair blowout of a cabin panel door plug on a nearly new 737 MAX 9.

    Investors and analysts have said that Boeing could tap bond markets to get ahead of more than $12 billion in combined debt coming due in 2025 and 2026.

    Credit rating agencies on Monday both assigned ratings nearing junk to Boeing’s new senior unsecured notes, with S&P assigning a BBB- rating and Moody’s assigning a Baa3 rating.

    • Ah, yes…the expected/inevitable debt rollovers have begon.
      They’ll be paying ca. 7% on (some of) those loans; we can expect a credit rating downgrade to junk pretty soon.

      Chapter 11 just took a leap closer.

      “The company is raising $10 billion in maturities ranging from three to 40 years, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who is not authorized to speak publicly. The 40-year portion will yield 2.25 percentage points more than Treasuries, said the person, after earlier discussions for around 2.65 percentage points.”

      Bid-to-cover was 7.7-to-one

      • Who, as a CEO – is going to want to walk into this mess?

        ‘Boeing has the tools to defend its investment-grade status and the negative outlooks from the ratings providers give the company at least 12 months of runway to show progress in normalizing operations and moving toward the FAA production limit, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Geudtner wrote in a note Monday.’

        • Possibly someone whose true job is to preside over a dismantling, handing this valuable part and that to ??

          A thought experiment..

        • ‘Boeing has the tools to defend its investment-grade status’

          Really? And what “tools” might those be? Waffle and PR smokescreening?

          • There’s more than $12 billion in debt coming due in 2025 and 2026. The $10 billion may be sufficient to cover refinancing needs until the first quarter of 2026, doesn’t buy much time. How can Boeing afford to buy Spirit??

    • IFR is reporting a six-part issuance, with maturities of 3yr/5yr/7yr/10yr/30yr/40yr.

      Some rather long maturities there!

      This issuance will add ca. $700M per year in interest burden…on top of the existing $2.3B per year interest on current debt.

      • I think they will retire some debt in the next 12 months with that cash.

        • Followed by yet another debt rollover, at higher interest rates.

          A classic debt spiral.

  20. “Turkish Airlines in discussions with Airbus and Boeing to purchase 235 planes – Reuters”

    “Turkish Airlines unveiled its 10-year plan last year, showing that it seeks to expand by almost 600 planes. The company announced a deal with Airbus in December for 355 A321 narrow-body and A350 wide-body aircraft orders.

    “At an event with Airbus and Rolls-Royce, Bolat is said to have told listeners that the company is “negotiating with both Airbus and Boeing for the remaining 235 planes” and that it has “always followed a balanced policy between Airbus and Boeing.”

    “He added that the airline is waiting for Boeing’s problems to end and is not in a hurry to make a decision.”–reuters-432SI-3459824

    So, despite ordering 355 planes from Airbus last year, Turkish is considering ordering even more from Airbus, while “waiting for Boeing’s problems to end”.

    • What a scathing link!

      An interesting passage:
      “Spirit has a market value of about $4 billion before factoring in any kind of takeover premium and had net debt of about $3.4 billion as of the end of the year. Those obligations would likely land with a thud on Boeing’s balance sheet. While Airbus SE is also in talks to buy the Spirit factories that make components for its jets, it has little reason to agree to take on a significant part of the debt load. Moody’s factored a debt-funded purchase of Spirit into its lower rating on Boeing but said a purchase price that’s substantially higher than the recent $36 peak in Spirit shares could have negative credit implications. Calhoun didn’t rule out using stock to pay for a Spirit deal. “This is a deal where discussions are ongoing. It’s complicated. There’s other parties involved,” he said. “It’s going to take time to close. And in that time between signing and closing, we’re going to explore the optimal financing for that transaction in order to maintain the investment credit rating.”

  21. The penny finally dropped with the LNA story of Boeings Q1 results
    “As such, expenses reported for the sale of aircraft during the reporting period are not what was paid, but what BA estimates the average cost will be over the remaining orders and aircraft to be sold. Any overages are noted as an increase in Deferred Production Costs and are held in Inventory.”

    Airbus sudden jump in “inventory’ is coming from deferred production cost or program accounting . We know they do this – in a hidden way- for launch orders but not for ongoing deliveries.
    But what launch program is this the costs of the A321XLR are one , as thats of course still a paper plane awaiting certification but in production.
    A350F is a large change from the A350-900 , so maybe long lead time costs for production have been booked .
    Any other ideas from the Airbus fan club ! However dont waste your breath denying Airbus doesnt use program accounting at all . Its all been in previous LNA stories hahaha

    • Post your evidence and numbers, Mr Need $10 Billion from Lenders….


      BTW – you missed the critical takeaway from the article on Boeing:

      ‘Investors would do well to understand that of the ~$72.5 billion represented as Inventory in Commercial Aircraft Programs, over $32bn of that is Deferred Production Costs and Tooling/Other Expenses – not aircraft that can be sold for profit.’

      • It is a touch poetic that instead of producing their touted $10 billion FCF, Boing is instead seeking that amount from lenders..

        See Pedro’s Bloomberg link just above.

        • Yah – he’s kinda desperate and grasping at straws. Look how he tries to single out one model of the A350 family, to show how well the 777X is doing. Before that it was Tax Avoidance. The delay of the XLR from 2023 to 2024.

          But here’s the thing; Cash is only a concern when you haven’t got enough to keep the bills paid and the lights on.

          24. Net Cash

          The net cash is comprised of the following elements:
          (In € million) 31 March 2024
          Cash and cash equivalents 13,615
          Current securities 1,845
          Non-current securities 7,964
          Gross cash position 23,424
          Short-term financing liabilities (3,393)
          Long-term financing liabilities (10,286)
          Interest rate contracts (1,029)
          Total 8,716

          Airbus has €8.7 billion, after paying off it’s debt.

          Boeing? Why do you think they had to borrow another $10 billion.

          • Thats because there were a number of choices for why inventory expense was suddenly so bad for Airbus- wiping out the FCF for Q1

            As usual from the Leiden fan club, Airbus terrible 1Q FCF is always about Boeing. hahahah

            A single A350 model is compared to its direct competitor the 777X. The A350K is a fine plane and should do well, not as well as the 777X it seems based on customers deposits

            Tax avoidance for big companies is well known , as they pay as you go , its not at end of financial year when taxes are due. It was just speculation as I said . Tax liabilities over normal inventories can be deferred when you play your cards right too

            But now Im sure inventory expense does include deferred production expenses , Im betting some one will find the ‘note to accounts’ where they say so. But as usual for Airbus deceit accounting they wont use the term program accounting but some coverup like ‘onerous contracts’ which they have used before when selling below production cost

          • Oh jeez, Duke. You really need to stop acting like you know accounting.

            It only becomes an expense when it is reported against revenue.

            But if you have ANY PROOF to that effect, other than innuendo and conspiracy theories….like numbers, notes from financials…post it. Link it.

            Otherwise, you’re just trolling.


            777X vs A350

            So…is it 120% more, or 160% more…or some other number?

            Since we’re on the subject, how is the other BA model doing against the AB model? Finally, if you could please give us your opinion on how the entire 777X program is doing against the A350 program.

            That would be lovely.


            Tax avoidance

            Well – once again, any proof?


            Inventory expense. Do you men cost of goods sold?

            You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

            ‘But as usual for Airbus deceit accounting they wont use the term program accounting but some coverup like ‘onerous contracts’ which they have used before when selling below production cost’

            Do you ever listen to ATC when the tower calls a plane, after a deviation and says “Get ready to copy down this number?”

            Well – I have a number for you:

            Office of the Whistleblower at (202) 551-4790


            You should call ’em up and give them all your special insider info that you’ve uncovered. I’ve done the search for you, so you can’t complain you don’t know where to call. Let them know, what you know.

            I’ll ask how things have gone, whenever I see you around here…

          • [Comment deleted as violation of Reader Comment rules.]

  22. Boeing buy back supplier to secure F-15, F/A-18 lifeline
    Can’t make this up: Boeing has come full circle by buying back the factory it originally sold to GKN in 2001.

    • So what . Airbus bought out its UK wing supplier when BAE wanted to walk from commercial aircraft.
      GKN had been taken over recently by Melrose PLC so its new bosses have a different outlook. Maybe GKN will offload its former Fokker business too… maybe Airbus will ‘have to buy that ‘

      F15 and F18 are dying programs with not much upside

      • F-15 and F-18 are worthy enough for BA to take over a plant it sold back in 2001! Life comes to full circle.

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