Tag Archives: Boeing

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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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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Airbus vs. Boeing, comparison of market forecasts (2017)

Two weeks ago, during Le Bourget air show in Paris, both Airbus and Boeing released their market forecasts for the following 20 years: Airbus’ Global Market Forecast (GMF, PDF 3.6 MB) and Boeing’s Current Market Outlook [PDF, 3.8 MB].

In previous years, I have published comparisons (1) of both Airbus’ and Boeing’s forecasts. You can find below the update of such comparison with the latest released figures from both companies.

Forecast2017

Comparison of Airbus GMF and Boeing CMO 2017-2036.

Some comments about the comparison:

  • The main comment for this year CMO is that after years of Boeing dowplaying the demand for the segment of the large aircraft (seen as mainly 747, A380 and some other high capacity aircraft, depending on the manufacturer), it has finally stopped to consider them a category by themselves and has merged that category with the “intermediate twin-aisle” (i.e. 777, A350…).
  • Excluding the large aircraft, both companies’ forecast for the twin aisle segment is nearly identical: ~8,175-8,210 aircraft (we may assume that about 100 of those 8,210 from Boeing’s CMO correspond to large aircraft, thus comparing apple to apples would be ~8,175-8,100). The mix between small and intermediate twins varies, ~400 units up and down.
  • On the other hand, Boeing forecasts about 4,700 single-aisle more than Airbus (the gap has widened in 100 units this year). Boeing doesn’t provide the split between more or less than 175 pax capacity airplanes since its 2015 CMO, nor does Airbus since 2016.
  • Alltogether, Boeing sees demand for 10% more passenger aircraft (excluding regional a/c and freighters) with a 9% more value. The gap is slightly lower than in 2016.
  • In relation to last year’s studies, Airbus has increased demand by ~1,700 aircraft (and ~ 190 Bn$) whereas Boeing has increased it by 1,400 (and ~ 130 Bn$).
  • In relation to traffic, measured in terms of RPKs (“revenue passenger kilometer”), that is, the number of paying passenger by the distance they are transported, they see a similar future: Airbus forecasts for 2036 16.5 RPKs (in trillion, 4.4% annual growth from today) while Boeing forecasts 17.8 RPKs (4.7% annual growth).

Some lines to retain from this type of forecasts:

  • Passenger world traffic (RPK) will continue to grow about 4.5% per year. This is, doubling every ~15 years.
  • Today there are about 18,890 passenger aircraft around the world (according to Airbus; 19,130 in Boeing’s CMO), this number is about 800 a/c more than the year before (5% increase) and will more than double over the next 20 years to 40,120 a/c in 2036 (41,320 as seen by Boeing, excluding regional jets).
  • Most deliveries will go to Asia-Pacific, 42% or ~17,000 passenger aircraft (according to Airbus).
  • Domestic travel in China will be the largest traffic flow in 2036 with over 2,000 bn RPK (according to Boeing, an annual growth of 6.1%), or 11.6% of the World’s traffic.
  • Nearly 13,000 aircraft will be retired to be replaced by more eco-efficient types.
Middle_Class

The doubling of the world’s middle class over the next 20 years will fuel air traffic growth and new airplanes demand.

As I do every year, I strongly recommend both documents (GMF and CMO) which provide a wealth of information of market dynamics.


(1) Find here the posts with similar comparisons I made with the forecasts of previous years: 201020112012, 2013, 2014, 20152016.

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Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2016)

For the last 3 years I have been writting a small series of posts comparing the compensation of Airbus and Boeing CEOs (1). This series started out of conversation with colleagues and I keep it to have a record of the evolution and for quick reference in other conversations (2). Thus, this post is just the update with the information for the 2016 fiscal year.

As both Boeing and Airbus are public companies, the information about their CEOs compensation is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I just share the information and sources below for comparison and future reference.

Airbus CEO, Tom Enders’ 2016 compensation (financial statements here, PDF, 1.0 MB, page 59):

Enders_2016

Airbus CEO Tom Enders 2016 compensation.

Enders saw its base salary increased in 100 k€ after 3 years at 1.4 M€. Variable pay also increased substancially, but share-based remmuneration decreased in a bigger amount. The overall compensation (6.25 M€) decreased, as it has been the case for the last 3 years.

Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg’s 2016 compensation (proxy statement here, PDF, 4.2 MB, page 30):

Muilenburg_2016

Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg 2016 compensation.

Dennis Muilenburg saw its base salary increased in 50 k$, after a decrease of 330 k$ last year in the transition between McNerney and him. Incentive percentages were kept constant, has been the case in the last 4 years. The total compensation (15.18 M$) increased in relation to 2015 but it is still bellow the 2014 levels (17.8 M$).

Comparison. It is interesting to note that while the base salary is nearly the same, 1.5 m€ vs 1.65 m$ (more so taking into account average exchange rates in 2016 (~ 0.90 EUR/USD)), the incentive schemes at Boeing end up with a total remuneration for the CEO about the double (x2.2) of that in Airbus.


(1) See the previous comparisons for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

(2) From what I see in the stats of the visits to this blog, other people are having similar conversations as these posts with the compensation comparison have ranked among the top 10 most read ones the last years.

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Aircraft market forecasts accuracy (update 2017)

About three years ago I wrote a post in which I analyzed the accuracy of commercial aircraft market forecasts. In particular, Boeing’s series of yearly Current Market Outlook (CMO). In that comparison, between the CMOs from 1999 and 2014, we could compare the predicted and the actual world fleets at 2013 year-end.

In this post, I just wanted to provide an update with the figures from the latest CMO (2017), released a couple of weeks ago, in comparison with 1997’s CMO. In that CMO from 1997, we find the following chart showing Boeing’s forecasted fleet size and distribution for 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 year-ends.

Fleet at year end - forecast 1997

1997 Boeing CMO year-end fleet forecasts for 2001, 2006, 2011 & 2016.

In 2017’s CMO, Boeing offered figures of 2016 year-end fleet.

Fleet at year end 2016 - Boeing 2017 CMO

Fleet at year-end 2016 – Boeing 2017 CMO.

Along these years, Boeing has simplified the segmentation with which it provides the fleet and aircraft demand. Single aisle segment is not divided in up to 4 sub-segments. Twin aisle aircraft have gone from two categories (747 and the rest) to three (small and intermediate widebody and large aircraft) and back to two (small widebody and larger), but slightly different. Freighters come with less sub-segments, too.

Despite of the difference in the presentation of the fleet we can try to make a comparison:

Comparison Fleet at year end 2016

Comparison of aircraft fleet at year-end 2016: 1997 forecast vs. actual (sources: Boeing CMO 1997 and 2017).

Some reflections:

  • The overall size of the fleet was quite well predicted, with a difference of 1%.
  • The forecasts for small aircraft was too conservative: both single aisle and regional fleets are today larger than forecasted.
  • The forecasts for larger aircraft was too optimistic: both widebody and freighter fleets are today smaller than forecasted.

This year’s Boeing’s CMO presentation includes a couple of slides on the accuracy of 1997 CMO in relation to what would be the demand for new airplanes vs. what it has turned out to be 20 years later.

CMO_1997_2017

More aircraft have been delivered in relation to what had been forecasted. Retirement of aircraft also increased its pace with increases of oil price in the 2000s. See the chart below from Avolon’s paper “Aircraft retirement and storage trends” [PDF, 2 MB].

Retirement_vs_oil_Avolon.png

Now, having seen all this information, I can update this other graphic which I shared 5 years ago in a blog post titled “World commercial aircraft fleet: forecast vs. actual“:

Fleet evolution - forecast vs actual - 2017 CMO

World commercial aircraft fleet: past forecast vs. actual, and future demand (data source: Boeing CMOs up to 2017). Fleet (blue and red lines) in the left axis; market forecast (grey columns) in the right axis.

As you can see, actual fleets, forecasted fleets and forcasted fleet demand have all been increasing year by year . The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for each one has been:

  • Actual fleet growth: 3.65% from 1995 to 2016 (3.04% from 2000 to 2016).
  • Forecasted (15-20 years before) fleet growth: 3.52% from 2000 to 2036 (3.55% from 2000 to 2016).
  • 20-year market forecast: 4.82% from 1992 to 2017 (3.56% from 2001 to 2017).

The 20-year market forecasts have grown at a higher rate (4.82%) than fleets (3.65%), it is mainly because the first sets of data that I could retrieve come from the economic crisis of the beginning of the 1990’s, when Boeing trimmed down its forecasts. From the 2000’s the figures for market forecast have grown at a similar rate (3.56%) than those of fleets (3.04%). And so will be the growth of forecasted fleet from 2016 to 2036: 3.52%.


Notes:

  • 1990 CMO long-term market forecast is made for 15 years, not 20.
  • Forecast of fleet for the periods 2000-2003, 2005-2008 and 2010-2013 does not come from CMOs published 20 years before, but from 5, 10 and 15-year fleet forecasts included in the CMOs of 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
  • Boeing does not publish 5, 10 and 15-year fleet forecasts anymore.
  • It would be interesting to have a per-segment graphic, however there is not consistent data to produce it for the same time span. Boeing has made different changes to the way it reports fleet and market segments.

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Review of Boeing Current Market Outlook 2017

Last week, on the first day of Le Bourget air show, Boeing Commercial published its yearly update of the Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the next 20 years of commercial aircraft market (2017-2036).

I have just compared the figures for passenger aircraft of the last two years’ CMOs:

CMO 2017 vs 2016 comparison

CMO 2017 vs. 2016 comparison.

Some comments to it:

  • You can see that the total number of new aircraft delivered has slightly increased from 38,690 to 40,110, a 3.7%, which is consistent with the 4.7% traffic increase (1) that Boeing predicts (2).
  • The volume (Bn$) increases by a lower percentage, 2.3% (130 Bn$) up to 5.79 Trn$… this, as it was the case with CMO 2016, is due mainly to the increase in (3):
    • single-aisle aircraft expected sales in volume (6%, +180 Bn$) and aircraft (+1,390), and
    • small wide-body segment with 70 more aircraft (+7%) and an increase in volume of 70 Bn$ (+6%).
  • Four years ago, I wrote about a sudden change between CMO 2013 and CMO 2012 of the mix in wide-bodies; in this respect, CMO 2016 is consistent with last year’s one.
  • For years, Boeing has been dowplaying in its CMO the demand for the segment of the large aircraft (seen as mainly 747, A380 and some other high capacity aircraft, depending on the manufacturer). This year, Boeing has finally stopped to consider them a category by themselves and has merged that category with the “intermediate twin-aisle” (i.e. 777, A350…).
    • It is interesting to see that, if in CMO 2016 both segments had a combined market forecast of 3,450 aircraft (430 large and 3,020 intermediate twin-aisle), in CMO 2017 the combined figure has diminished to 3,160, a reduction of about 300 aircraft or 8.4%.
    • If the demand for intermadiate twin aircraft was about constant, that would mean that the large segment is seen to almost disappear, in Boeing’s eyes, with not many more than 100 airplanes in 20 years (down from 430 forecasted last year).

This year presentation includes a couple of slides on the accuracy of 1997 CMO in relation to what is the fleet they forecasted for the end of 2016 vs. what has been the reality 20 years later. I will come back to that in a following post, as I wrote some blog posts years ago making similar comparisons and in the last such one, commenting on CMO 2014, I mentioned

For the next such comparison we will need to wait some years, as from the year 2000 Boeing provided CMOs in a different fashion, offering a view of the forecasted fleet only 20 years from the date in question, instead of a view every 5 years. Therefore, we will have to wait until 2017, when we will be able to compare the 20-year forecast from 1997 CMO with the actuals of 2016 to be provided in 2017 CMO.

See below a quick image about that forecast:

CMO_1997_2017

Find below the nice infographic [PDF, 539 KB] that the guys from Boeing have put up together:

BoeingCMOinfographic2017

Boeing Commercial Aviation Market Forecast 2017-2036 infographic.

As always, I recommend going through the CMO, as you can learn a lot about the business: from global numbers, to growth, traffic figures, fleet distributions, forecasts, etc… You may find the presentation [PDF, 3.8 MB], a file [XLS, 0.6 MB] with all the data or the full CMO report [PDF, 53.6 MB].

(1) Traffic increased measured in RPKS (revenue passenger kilometers) in billions.

(2) These two ratios, 3.7% fleet demand and 4.8% traffic growth, point to an implicit increase in the average size of the aircraft in fleet and / or a higher utilization of the aircraft (higher availability).

(3) These two segments (single-aisle and small wide-body) saw as well the largest increases in number of aircraft and volumes in the CMO of 2015 in relation to 2014.

(4) Find the reviews I wrote comparing 2016 CMO with 2015 CMO2015 CMO with 2014 CMO2014 CMO with 2013 CMO and 2013 CMO with 2012 CMO.

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Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2015)

Last year, I wrote a couple of post titled “Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2014)” (and 2013) in which I compared the compensation of both CEOs. Yesterday, I saw that those posts received a larger than usual amount of visits which reminded me that now, at the end of the year 2016, we can find the same information for the 2015 fiscal year. Thus, this follow on post.

As both Boeing and Airbus are public companies, the information about their CEOs compensation is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I will just copy the information below for comparison and future reference.

Airbus Group CEO, Tom Enders’ 2015 compensation (financial statements here, PDF, 1.7 MB, page 58).

Airbus Group’s Tom Enders 2015 compensation.

Airbus Group’s Tom Enders 2015 compensation.

In the case of Boeing, 2015 was particular in the sense that Jim McNerney was the CEO for the first half of the year and since July 1st the position is held by Dennis A. Muilenburg. Find in the table below the figures for both (proxy statement here, PDF, 3.7 MB, page 30):

Boeing’s Jim McNerney and Dennis Muilenburg 2015 compensation.

Boeing’s Jim McNerney and Dennis Muilenburg 2015 compensation.

It is interesting to note that while the base salary is nearly the same (1.4 m€ vs 1.6 m$, which after taking into account current exchange rate is almost equivalent) the incentive schemes at Boeing end up with a total remuneration about the double of that in Airbus Group.

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Airbus vs. Boeing, comparison of market forecasts (2016)

Last week, on the first day of Farnborough air show, Airbus released the new figures of the 2016-35 Airbus’ Global Market Forecast (GMF, PDF 2.6 MB). This is good news, as it did so at the same time as Boeing released its Current Market Outlook (see a post here about it) and before it used to do so in September.

In previous years, I have published comparisons (1) of both Airbus’ and Boeing’s forecasts (Current Market Outlook, CMO, PDF 4.1 MB). You can find below the update of such comparison with the latest released figures from both companies.

Comparison of Airbus GMF and Boeing CMO 2016-2035.

Comparison of Airbus GMF and Boeing CMO 2016-2035.

Some comments about the comparison:

  • Boeing sees demand for 12% more passenger aircraft (excluding regional a/c) with a 10% more value (excluding freighters). The gap is higher than in 2015 (similar to 2013 and previous years).
  • In relation to last year studies, Airbus has increased demand by ~650 aircraft whereas Boeing has increased by 1,670.
  • Boeing continues to play down A380 niche potential (66% less a/c than Airbus’ GMF).
  • Both companies’ forecast for the twin aisle segment is nearly identical: ~7,600-7,700 aircraft (Airbus sees demand for about a 100 less aircraft than Boeing, mainly due to Boeing increased figures in relation to 2015). The mix between small and intermediate twins varies, ~300-400 units up and down. However, Boeing’s wide-bodies mix is not to be taken as engraved in stone, see the erratic trend in the last years here.
  • On the other hand, Boeing forecasts about 4,600 single-aisle more than Airbus (the gap has widened in 800 units this year). Boeing doesn’t provide the split between more or less than 175 pax capacity airplanes since its 2015 CMO, this year Airbus hasn’t included it either.
  • In relation to traffic, measured in terms of RPKs (“revenue passenger kilometer”), that is, the number of paying passenger by the distance they are transported, they see a similar future: Airbus forecasts for 2035 ~16.0 RPKs (in trillion, 4.5% annual growth from today) while Boeing forecasts 17.01 RPKs (4.8% annual growth).

The main changes from last year’s forecasts are:

  • Both manufacturers have increased their passenger aircraft forecast in between ~650-1,670 a/c.
  • Both manufacturers have increased the volume (trn$) of the market in these 20 years, by about 300-400 bn$.

Some lines to retain from this type of forecasts:

  • Passenger world traffic (RPK) will continue to grow about 4.5% per year (4.8% according to Boeing). This is, doubling every ~15 years.
  • Today there are about 18,019 passenger aircraft around the world (according to Airbus; 18,190 in Boeing’s CMO), this number is about 700 a/c more than the year before (4% increase) and will more than double over the next 20 years to 37,708 a/c in 2035 (39,750 as seen by Boeing, excluding regional jets).
  • Most deliveries will go to Asia-Pacific, 41% or 13,239 passenger aircraft (according to Airbus).
  • Domestic travel in China will be the largest traffic flow in 2035 with over 1,600 bn RPK (according to Airbus (x 3.7 times more than today’s traffic), or 1,897 bn RPK according to Boeing), or 11% of the World’s traffic.
  • About 12,830 aircraft will be retired to be replaced by more eco-efficient types.
Passenger traffic growth vs. global GPD growth.

Passenger traffic growth vs. global GPD growth.

As I do every year, I strongly recommend both documents (GMF and CMO) which provide a wealth of information of market dynamics. This year, Airbus included as well an excel file with its data, find it here [XLS, 0.3 MB]

(1) Find here the posts with similar comparisons I made with the forecasts of previous years: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.

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Review of Boeing Current Market Outlook 2016

Last week, on the first day of Farnborough air show, Boeing Commercial published its yearly update of the Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the next 20 years of commercial aircraft market (2016-2035).

I have just compared the figures for passenger aircraft of the last two years’ CMOs:

CMO 2016 vs 2015 comparison

CMO 2016 vs. 2015 comparison.

Some comments to it:

  • You can see that the total number of new aircraft delivered has slightly increased from 37,130 to 38,690, a 4.2%, which is consistent with the 4.8% traffic increase (1) that Boeing predicts (2).
  • The volume (Bn$) increases by a larger percentage, 7.2% (380Bn$) up to 5.66 Trn$… this is due mainly to the increase in (3):
    • single-aisle aircraft expected sales in volume (8%, +230M$) and aircraft (+1,410), and
    • small wide-body segment with 220 more aircraft (+5%) and an increase in volume of 80 Bn$ (+7%).
  • Three years ago, I wrote about a sudden change between CMO 2013 and CMO 2012 of the mix in wide-bodies; in this respect, CMO 2015 is consistent with last year’s one, showing simply an  increase in demand for both sub-segments.
  • It is interesting to note how Boeing continues to downplay the large aircraft segment at the moment when a A380 is discussed, however this year’s figures are increased in relation to CMO 2014 in terms of both aircraft and volume.

This year study’s figures and presentation focus again on single-aisle (737 MAX 8, “Medium-size aircraft are at heart of single-aisle market“) and small wide-bodies (787, “opening new markets”), the products to be pushed by the sales force.

Find below the nice infographic [PDF, 464 KB] that the guys from Boeing have put up together:

Boeing Commercial Aviation Market Forecast 2016-2035 infographic.

Boeing Commercial Aviation Market Forecast 2016-2035 infographic.

As always, I recommend going through the CMO, as you can learn a lot about the business: from global numbers, to growth, traffic figures, fleet distributions, forecasts, etc… You may find the presentation [PDF, 4.7 MB], a file [XLS, 0.6 MB] with all the data or the full CMO report [PDF, 4.1 MB].

This year again, together with the CMO, Boeing provides two interesting papers from a couple of years ago: Key Findings on Airplane Economic Life [PDF, 0.3MB, dating from August 2013] and A Discussion of the Capacity Supply -Demand Balance within the Global Commercial Air Transport Industry [PDF, 0.6MB, dating from August 2013].

(1) Traffic increased measured in RPKS (revenue passenger kilometers) in billions.

(2) These two ratios, 4.2% fleet demand and 4.8% traffic growth, point to an implicit increase in the average size of the aircraft in fleet and / or a higher utilization of the aircraft (higher availability).

(3) These two segments (single-aisle and small wide-body) saw as well the largest increases in number of aircraft and volumes in the CMO of 2015 in relation to 2014.

(4) Find the reviews I wrote comparing 2015 CMO with 2014 CMO2014 CMO with 2013 CMO and 2013 CMO with 2012 CMO.

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A380: 747 production rate throughout history

Back in 2013, I wrote a post comparing the orders of the Airbus A380 compared to those of the Boeing 747 Jumbo taking different references for the comparison. As I explained then, the idea for the post was triggered by a conversation with my friend Jose. A year later, in 2014 I wrote an update of that comparison (here).

This post is yet again triggered by another point raised by Jose (1) in another conversation a few months ago, when Airbus announced that it has reached the unit break even point for the A380 programme in 2015 with 27 deliveries. In that news it was already mentioned that the company sought to lower the number of aircraft for breaking even on any given year. The point became more relevant since Airbus confirmed, this week at Farnborough air show, that it would slow down its production pace to a monthly rate of 1 aircraft per month from 2018.

In our conversation, Jose looked at how the Boeing 747 production rate had evolved throughout history. Taking the figures from the 747 article in the Wikipedia (here), you can see the results in the graphic below. The bars show yearly deliveries. The lines the monthly production rate 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 (1).

747 rate

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: 2.7 airplanes per month (above 2.25 for A380 in 2015).
  • 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 1.3.
  • For the first 10 years of the 747 programme (as the A380 is just about to complete that first decade of deliveries), its production rate averaged 2.9 aircraft per month.
  • Even if not reflected in the graphic, for information, Boeing has announced that it would decrease production rate down to 0.5 airplanes per month (6 a year) from September 2016.

Time will tell if the rate for the A380 is sustainable and whether its market rebounds.

(1) I took 3 years to make the rolling average as the fact of confirming in 2016 a delivery rate decrease to be effective from 2018 may give an idea of lead times.

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