Airbus wide-body orders overtake Boeing
Aircraft maker Airbus Group announced that it has taken net new orders for 1,007 passenger airplanes to the end of November. That total is well above the 568 net new orders written by Boeing Co. up to December 2. The really unhappy news for Boeing is that new orders for the Airbus A330, A350 and A380 have pushed the European maker’s total for net new wide-body orders to 127, compared with 113 net new wide-body orders for Boeing’s 747, 777 and 787.
Airbus also holds a wide lead in the market for narrow-body planes. The A320 family of single-aisle passenger planes has received net new orders for 876 planes in the first 11 months of the year, compared with a net total of 389 new orders for Boeing’s 737 family. For the year, Airbus’s share of the narrow-body market is nearly 70%.
While this comparison favours Airbus, Boeing is the easy winner when it comes to deliveries. The company has delivered 705 new commercial aircraft so far in 2015 and should easily deliver more than its stated yearly target of around 755 planes. Airbus has struggled with deliveries in 2015 and has shipped out just 556 new planes. In order to meet its target of 630 deliveries, Airbus needs to roll out 74 new planes in December. That’s possible, but it won’t be easy. Airbus had shipped just ten of the 15 A350s it had targeted for deliveries this year by the end of November. It still expects to meet its target, having delivered one new A350 last week, with the other four on schedule for delivery by the end of this month. The Christmas holidays, however, could slow production. Airbus did deliver four new A350s in October, so there is precedent.
Another issue for Boeing is slow sales of its current 777 wide-body, for which the company has taken orders for just 38 so far in 2015. Boeing’s target for the year was 40 to 60 new orders for the plane, and it still hopes to sign a deal with United Airlines for ten of the 777-300ERs by the end of December, according to a report from Leeham News. The new 777X has logged 20 net new orders so far this year.
On Monday, Boeing Capital Corp. (BCC) released its market outlook for aircraft finance in 2016. The recent reauthorisation of the U.S. Export-Import Bank has lifted the outlook to its best level since 2009. Boeing estimates that the total global market for new aircraft will reach $127 bln in 2016, up from $122 bln this year, and that 36% of the funding for those planes will come from the capital markets. By 2020, BCC projects total new deliveries will reach $172 bln.
Leasing companies are expected to take about half the capital market’s funding in 2016 and the Ex-Im Bank’s funding support “is projected to be limited in scale.” The ExIm Bank’s total financing assistance to Boeing in 2016 is forecast at 9%.