Boeing 777

Boeing Looks Set To Beat Airbus In Orders And Deliveries In 2014

Boeing 777

Boeing is set to beat competitor Airbus in the race for new commercial airplane orders and deliveries in 2014. Through November this year, Boeing has received net orders for 1,274 commercial airplanes, while Airbus has received net orders for 1,031 commercial airplanes. The launch of the wide-body 777X by Boeing in late 2013 has boosted its order tally this year. On the other hand, Airbus has suffered from a large order cancellation for its A350 from Emirates.

This order tally of Boeing relative to Airbus is in stark contrast to last year, when Airbus led Boeing in net commercial airplane orders and deliveries. In 2013, Airbus bagged orders for 1,503 commercial airplanes, while Boeing managed to get orders for 1,355 airplanes. For most of the last decade, Airbus has led Boeing in annual commercial airplane orders, driven by strong demand for its narrow-body A320s. However, the gap in annual orders received by Airbus and Boeing has been very narrow, reflecting the intense competition that exists between these two global airplane manufacturers.

Boeing’s Lead In The Wide-Body Segment

Boeing’s higher order tally this year is driven by its clear lead over Airbus in the wide-body commercial airplane segment. In this segment, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, 777 and 767 models compete with Airbus’ A330, A350 and A380 models. Through November, Boeing has been able to generate 292 net orders for its wide-body airplanes, while Airbus has been able to generate only 61 net orders for its wide-body airplanes. The main reason for Airbus’ low order tally in this segment is the large order cancellation that it received from Emirates in June, driven by the airline’s decision to review fleet plans. On the other hand, Boeing’s wide-body airplane orders have been driven by the launch of the 777X, which features new engines from GE Aviation and composite wings. Boeing has promised that the 777X will be 12% more fuel efficient and 10% more cost efficient than the plane’s competitors, with entry in service by the end of this decade.

In the narrow-body airplane segment, however, the order numbers for Boeing and Airbus are a lot closer. In this segment, Boeing’s 737s compete with Airbus’ A320s. Through November, Boeing has received 982 net orders for its 737s, while Airbus has generated 970 net orders for its A320 family of aircraft. So, the final order tally for 2014 in the narrow-body airplane segment could swing either way, but Boeing will likely hold a large lead over Airbus in the wide-body airplane segment.

In terms of deliveries, Boeing has raced ahead of Airbus in 2014. Through November, Boeing has delivered 647 airplanes, while Airbus has been able to deliver 554 airplanes. Boeing has been able to deliver to more airplanes as it hiked production rates of its best-selling 737 and 787 Dreamliner models. Around the start of 2014, Boeing first raised its 787 production rate to 10 airplanes per month, from 7 per month. Thereafter, in March, the company raised its 737 production rate to 42 airplanes per month, from 38 per month. These higher production rates have boosted Boeing’s airplane deliveries in 2014, allowing it to race ahead of Airbus’ airplane deliveries. We figure these higher airplane deliveries will allow Boeing to hold on to its share of the global commercial airplane market in the coming years.


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