Category Archives: Aerospace & Defence

Boeing commercial aircraft discounts (update for 2017)

A couple of weeks ago I published a post with “My forecast of Boeing Commercial Airplanes 2017 revenues“. In that post I built a forecast of Boeing Commercial revenues based on its 2017 airplanes deliveries, orders, list prices and my estimate of the discounts Boeing applies as a relation to what it reports in the revenues vs. what it publishes as list prices.

“I’ll try to guess the figure of revenues for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, not so much trying to be accurate in itself, but to point in advance to the increasing of the discounts as we will see below.” (excerpt from the referred post)

My forecast for Boeing Commercial revenues was 57.0 bn$. A few days later, on January 31st, Boeing announced its 2017 results. Boeing Commercial revenues were 56.7 bn$.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues full 2017

As I already anticipated,

“[…] I see that their discounts have been greatly increased in the last 2017. […]

The implied discount of my revenues forecast would be in the ~ 50% range.”(excerpt from the referred post)

With those 56,729 bn$, the 2017 Boeing list prices, its 763 airplane deliveries and 912 net orders I come to an estimated average discount for Boeing commercial aircraft of 50.4%.

Discount evolution_2017

Boeing Average Discount Evolution, through 2017.


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Boeing 787 orders, cancellations, deliveries & backlog through 2017

Quick post with the updated figures and graphic of orders, cancellations, deliveries and backlog of the 787 programme at the end of 2017.

For the fourth consecutive year above 100 787 airplanes have been delivered in 2017, 136 deliveries, the third year in a row with above or 135 deliveries. At that pace, the backlog is being consumed quickly, especially since in the last years the wide-body market has been rather sluggish.

In the last 4 years, 351 orders for 787s were placed, offset by 87 cancellations (about 25%) for a total of 264 net orders, 94 of them in 2017, its best selling year since 2013. Book-to-bill ratio was 0.69 in 2017, less than a desired > 1, but better than in the previous years.

Since 2011, there have been 636 cumulative deliveries, that is 49% of the standing 1,294 net orders. Reversely, there is backlog of 658 aircraft to be delivered, 51% of the orders received so far.

787 orders and cancellations 2017

787 orders, cancellations, deliveries and backlog through 2017.

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Commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year, 1969-2017

In the last weeks, both Airbus and Boeing have released the figures of aircraft deliveries for the complete 2017. This is just a quick post to update a graphic with the commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year since 1969 (year of the introduction of the 747) till 2017 (1).

Commercial wide-body airplanes' deliveries per year, 1969-2017

Commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year, 1969-2017.

Some reflections:

For the first time ever, in 2015 over 400 twin-aisle aircraft were delivered in a year (412), the same feat was achieved in 2016 (402). In 2017 production descended to 394 twin-aisles, still the third best year in wide-body history.

The average number of deliveries for the previous 20-year period (1997-2016) was 239 airplanes per year. Up to now, in the 49 years of twin-aisle market, in only 6 years more than 300 airplanes were delivered in a single year, the six last years, and only in other 9 years more than 200 airplanes had been delivered.

The combined steep production ramp-up during last years has enabled to reach a production rate of more than the double of what was produced in 2010. In particular, the combined compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the rate of deliveries for the last 10 years has been 7.1%. These rates are above the yearly growth of traffic (measured in RPKs).

With the figures up to the end of 2017, nearly 8,800 wide-body airplanes had been delivered. Thus, by mid-2018, we will certainly reach the 9,000th. However, we won’t know whether the 9,000th twin aisle will be a Boeing or an Airbus.

The share of wide-body deliveries in 2017: 59% Boeing and 41% Airbus.

There were 136 787s delivered in 2017. A remarkable feat: one aircraft short of its 2016 record of 137 deliveries, the largest amount of twin-aisle deliveries of a single model in a single year ever. Only the 787 and the A330 have ever been delivered in excess of 100 aircraft in any given year (4 times for each aircraft).

(1) See here a previous post with the figures up to 2015.

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A380 vs. 747: orders and production rates

After the recent announcement by Airbus and Emirates of the signature of an MoU for up to 36 A380 (press release), my friend and colleague Jose and I quickly wondered how would that leave a series of comparisons in which we set out years ago to compare how quickly or not sales of the 747 piled up back in its heyday.

See below the update of those couple of graphics.

First see in the graphic below A380 orders since the programme launch (2001) in comparison to those of the 747 (1966):

A380 vs 747 - Launch 2017

A380 and 747 orders referenced to the year of launch of each programme (up to 2017).

Both programmes show an initial sales rush at the time of programme launch. In both cases the rhythm of sales slowed down after the second year. In the first 18 years of program, each had managed:

  • 747: 615 orders.
  • A380: 337 orders (55% of 747’s). With a caveat being that we are now in January 2018 and through the end of the year the A380 could pile up some more orders.

Thus, we can see that the Boeing 747 was selling better already from the beginning of the programme.

I include again yet another comparison: aircraft orders taking as reference the year of first delivery, having heard so often the industry mantra that some potential customers would wait to see the aircraft in operation before placing orders. See below this second comparison:

A380 vs 747 - Delivery 2017

A380 and 747 orders referenced to the year the 1st aircraft delivery of each programme (up to 2017).

In this case, and due to the shorter time to develop the Boeing 747 since program launch (1966), the difference in sales is slightly narrowed:

  • 747: 554 orders.
  • A380: 337 orders.

You can see that, 11 years after the 1st delivery of each aircraft (2007 for the A380 and 1969 for the 747) the 747 had sold about 50% more aircraft and that is due to the pick up of sales it went through from its 8th year of operation.

Finally, I include below an update of yet another graphic in which we compared the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 production rates throughout history. The bars show Boeing 747 yearly deliveries. The lines the monthly production rate for both aircraft and its 3-year rolling average. I took this average to smooth the curve even if it is very similar to the year-by-year data.

A380 vs 747 - rate 2017

Some comments on the 747 production rates (taken from its yearly deliveries):

  • The average monthly production rate since its first delivery back in 1969 has been: 2.6 airplanes per month (1.7 for A380).
  • During the first about 30-35 years (till ~2002-3) the rate fluctuated between 2 and 5 deliveries per month.
  • Since 2003 the rate has averaged 1.2.
  • For the first 11 years of the 747 programme (as the A380 just completed those first eleven years of deliveries), its production rate averaged 3.1 aircraft per month.

Time will tell if the market for the A380 picks up.

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Turboprop market vs. oil price (ATR figures 2017 update)

Few days ago, the Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer ATR (Avions de Transport Régional) published a press release [PDF, 139 kB] reporting some of its numbers for the year 2017 (being a private company, owned by Airbus and Leonardo, it does not publish a complete financial annual report). Some of the key figures were:

  • Revenues: 1.8bn$.
  • 80 deliveries (including 2 second hand aircraft).
  • Orders: 113 firm plus 40 options (112 of the orders for its ATR-72).

With this post I just wanted to log the latest data and update the graphic in which I compare ATR yearly deliveries profile with World GPD growth and most importantly oil price.

ATR figures 2017

ATR deliveries vs. GDP growth and oil price (2017 update).

It is interesting to note the drop of the oil price from around 90$ to below 50$ since 2015. ATR deliveries correlated well with oil price with a lag of a few years time. The correlation up to date continues to be quite high.

So far, through 2017 aircraft production has kept up around 80 deliveries a year. In 2017, the book-to-bill was 1.45 (with the above-mentioned 113 firm orders), so ATR should be able to cope with high production for another couple of years.

We will see later on whether the oil price raises again, whether the correlation deliveries/oil price holds or breaks, and whether ATR manages to keep up production in response to the market.

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My forecast of Boeing Commercial Airplanes 2017 revenues

Next January 31st, Boeing will hold an earnings conference where it will announce its Q4 and full 2017 year financial results, including the revenues of each of its units.

Three weeks ago, on January 9th, Boeing already issued a press release where it announced its deliveries and orders for 2017, mainly:

  • 763 commercial aircraft delivered (including 529 of the 737 family, or 136 787).
  • 912 net orders (after cancellations) (including 745 of the 737 family).

The release mentions “912 net orders, valued at $134.8 billion at list prices“, however those list prices are discounted, nothing new, and with an estimate of that discount I’ll try to guess the figure of revenues for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, not so much trying to be accurate in itself, but to point in advance to the increasing of the discounts as we will see below.

Where can we find Boeing list prices? Boeing host them in their site, these have just bee raised 10 days ago about 4% (see this comment about it). The previous prices dated from March 2017, when Boeing raised them again, that time by about 2% from its 2015 prices (untouched in 2016). To compute 2017 revenues and estimate of discount I use 2017 prices, not the latest ones.

If Boeing didn’t apply those discounts, the value of the 763 aircraft delivered in 2017 would yield revenues of above 118 bn$. To come to a ballpark figure, I will take the latest figure of discounts that I had calculated with 2016 and earlier figures, being the latest ~46%.

Discount evolution_2016

If I plug that discount into the 2017 list prices of the fleet mix of the 763 commercial aircraft that Boeing delivered we would come to a figure of revenues of 62.1 bn$. However, see below what was Boeing’s own guidance in their Q3 earnings release:

2017 Q3 Financial Outlook

Boeing’s 2017 Financial Outlook at Q3 2017 earnings press release.

At three months to the year end (Q3), they forecast between 760 and 765 deliveries, which turned in 763. At the same time they pointed to revenues between 55.5 – 56.5 bn$… and not above 62 bn$. I believe they will exceed their own estimate, but not by 5 bn$, that is why I see that their discounts have been greatly increased in the last 2017. They must have had a bad time in escalating prices of aircraft sold years ago, delivered in 2017 but with escalation conditions much lower than ongoing list prices.

With all these ingredients… my forecast is: 57.0 bn$.

Some comments to it:

  • My forecast is a bit more optimistic than their upper bracket (56.5) which may be slightly conservative.
  • The implied discount of my revenues forecast would be in the ~ 50% range.

(1) See here a couple of such forecasting revenues exercises that I did for Boeing’s 2014 and 2015 revenues.

(2) See here the latest detailed calculation of discounts that I posted in 2015.



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El tráfico aéreo en Cataluña desde el 1 de Octubre

En los últimos 3 meses hemos visto muchas noticias al respecto de las empresas que están cambiando de sede de Cataluña a otras regiones como Madrid, Valencia, Baleares… Estas noticias suelen ir acompañadas de calurosos debates sobre lo grande que será el impacto, o si será nulo, si pagan sus impuestos aquí o allá, etc.

También hemos visto varias noticias sobre la desaceleración del crecimiento del empleo. Sobre el desempleo. La publicación de esos datos también conlleva animados debates.

Otros tantos debates surgen con motivo de si las reservas hoteleras en Barcelona bajan, suben o siguen igual que en otros años.

Cada vez que veo estos datos y los debates relacionados me cuesta ver negro sobre blanco el posible impacto de los resultados del 1-O, de la declaración unilateral de independencia del 27-O, etc.

Por otro lado, y sin dudar de la fiabilidad de la EPA (“Encuesta de Población Activa” aquí su metodología), o de los datos sobre capacidades hoteleras, el hecho de que se traten de encuestas me hizo plantearme el buscar un posible indicador basado en datos crudos más que en estimaciones. Datos fiables. Y eso me llevó, obviamente, a buscar datos publicados por ingenieros aeronáuticos. 😉

… Los datos sobre tráfico aéreo que publica AENA (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea) cada mes sobre los aeropuertos que gestiona en España.

El portal de estadísticas de AENA se puede encontrar en el siguiente enlace. En él AENA publica datos mensuales absolutos y relativos sobre el tráfico de cada aeropuerto medido en pasajeros, operaciones (despegues y aterrizajes) y en carga transportada (medido en su peso).

Para ver el posible impacto de los últimos eventos en Cataluña, compilé los datos de tráfico aéreo de los últimos tres años (2015, 2016 y 2017) en el aeropuerto de Barcelona El Prat y Gerona. Su evolución la comparo con aeropuertos con un tráfico similar: Madrid Barajas, Palma de Mallorca, Zaragoza (para el caso de carga) y Murcia (para comparar con Gerona). A continuación dejo aquí cuatro gráficas y una tabla resumen con algunos comentarios.

Tablas comparativas

Tabla comparativa con los crecimientos mensuales de Madrid Barajas y Barcelona El Prat.

Pax MAD - BCN - Palma

Pasajeros. El volumen de pasajeros en Barcelona disminuyó en los meses de octubre y noviembre con respecto a los meses de verano, como lo hace todos los años. La disminución es más acusada que en Madrid y menos que en Palma. En diciembre, de hecho, en 2017 el tráfico prácticamente ha sido el mismo que en noviembre y no descendido como en otros años. En el global del año El Prat ha crecido un 7.1%, más que Barajas (5.9%). En el último trimestre ha crecido menos. En el último mes, más.

En 2017 El Prat ha crecido menos (7.1%) que en 2016 (11.2%), pero también Barajas ha crecido menos (5.9% vs 7.7%). Se podría decir que la desaceleración es mayor, pero también lo es el crecimiento absoluto, y la mayor desaceleración también se dio en los meses anteriores al 1-O. Se hace difícil sacar una conclusión clara.

Veamos el tráfico medido en operaciones.

Ops MAD - BCN - Palma

Operaciones. En este caso el los perfiles de las curvas en 2017 vuelven a ser similares a los de los años precedentes. Hay crecimiento en prácticamente todos los meses en los 3 aeropuertos, y desde luego en los tres últimos meses. ¿Se desacelera el crecimiento en El Prat a partir del 1-O? No. En octubre, noviembre y diciembre el crecimiento es del 7.0% cada mes respecto a los mismos meses de 2016. Se podría decir que Barajas crece más en esos meses, pero el crecimiento en el último trimestre en El Prat es superior al crecimiento anual en El Prat (5.1%), por tanto, se acelera.

Sin embargo, el crecimiento en esos meses en 2016 respecto a 2015 fue mayor, y en Madrid el crecimiento en 2017 respecto a 2016 fue mayor que en 2016 respecto a 2015… pero en todos esos meses y en el global del año el crecimiento en El Prat fue mayor que en Barajas. De nuevo se hace difícil sacar una conclusión clara.

Veamos el tráfico medido en carga.


Carga / Mercancía. En este caso los perfiles de las curvas son más complicados. Si acaso se distingue que no hay un mayor volumen en verano respecto a los meses de otoño e invierno. El pico en los tres aeropuertos (aquí Zaragoza sustituye a Palma como tercer aeropuerto en cuanto a carga) se produce en octubre y desciende en noviembre y diciembre. En carga, de nuevo El Prat crece más en el global del año (14.9% vs 13.1%) y en los últimos meses que Barajas.

Sin embargo, la desaceleración de ese crecimiento es mayor en El Prat en los tres meses del último cuarto (16.4%) con respecto a los tres anteriores (25.5%), aunque los crecimientos en absoluto sean mayores (16.4% en media en El Prat vs 12.2% en Barajas).

En 2016, sin embargo, el crecimiento se aceleró en el último cuarto del año (14.6% vs 11.4%) y en 2017 se desacelera, pero lo mismo sucede en Barajas. De nuevo se hace difícil sacar una conclusión clara y diferenciada para el aeropuerto de Barcelona El Prat.


Si comparamos el tráfico de Gerona con Murcia, vemos el mismo pico en los meses de verano, y en el caso de Gerona vemos que en noviembre y diciembre el tráfico es menor que en los mismos meses de 2015 y 2016. Sin embargo, eso ya ocurrió en los tres primeros meses de 2017, con lo cual se hace difícil ligar ese descenso al 1-O y acontecimientos siguientes.

Como conclusión final a este post, solo puedo decir que sacar una conclusión clara de que hasta diciembre el 1-O o el 27-O hayan tenido un impacto en el tráfico aéreo de los aeropuertos en Cataluña se hace más difícil que leer los posos del café.


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