In a previous post I updated the estimate of what is the average discount Boeing applies when selling its commercial airplanes using 2013 data of list prices, deliveries and reported revenues. The figure I came up with was a 47% discount. I included the following graphic showing the discount evolution:
Seeing the increasing trend of average discount together with knowing the fact that Boeing regularly increases list prices triggered the following question: Have Boeing airplane real prices increased, decreased or stayed constant in the recent years? I set out to answer this question using the estimated average discount of each year (1) from the graphic above.
The Boeing list prices (LP) can be found here. I have been recording those prices for years and thus have a table with the evolution of list prices for each model year by year. The following step is to apply the average discount estimated for each year to then-year list prices, to get the estimated discounted prices (EDP) per model. Thus, a table can be built for the last 5 years.
You can find below the result for the best-selling aircraft during previous years: 737-800, 737-900ER, 777-300ER and 787-8. Together these 4 models amounted 560 deliveries in 2013 or over 86% of the total 648 airplanes Boeing delivered in 2013.
In the table above I included in black figures what have been Boeing list prices of these models in the past years (as reported in their website) while I marked in blue the figures which are estimated, using as a departure point the calculated averages discounts per year (also included in blue in the table). I included as well the list prices year-on-year change as a % of the previous year list prices, per model.
The average list price increase included at the bottom line is computed with the information of all Boeing models (19 in 2008 and 18 in 2013, though different ones, a total of 24 different models along this period), not only the 4 included in this table.
You may see in the table above that after not increasing prices in 2009, Boeing has steadily increased them in 2010 (6.3%), 2011 (4.7%), 2012 (6.7%) and 2013 (1.9%). However, if you take a look at the blue figures in the same table you will notice that prices of 2013 are between 2008 and 2010 price levels for all 4 models! That is, the widely announced yearly list prices increase has been yearly offset by a discreet (not-announced) increase in the discounts applied to sales of airplanes. Thus, the pricing power of Boeing has remained barely constant during the last 5 years. You may see it better in the graphic below:
The graphic shows the price evolution for each of the 4 airplane models selected, taking as a reference their list and estimated discounted prices in 2008 (indicated as 100%) . List prices are shown with straight lines, versus dashed lines used for estimated prices. Each pair of prices for each aircraft is presented in the same color for easier identification. Some comments to the graphic:
- Through continuous increases, 2013 list prices were between 18% (737 and 777) and 27% (for the 787) higher than in 2008.
- However, due to increasing discounts from 38% in 2008 to 47% in 2013, the increase in list prices is almost entirely offset.
- 2013 discounted prices are below 2010 discounted prices for all models.
- 2013 discounted prices are almost back at 2008 levels for the 737 and 777, only the 787 seems to have stayed at 2010 levels.
(1) There is no way to know the real price and discount that Boeing applies in each sale, as it will depend from customer to customer (American Airlines -AMR- or Fedex) and from model to model (737-800 or 787-8). There where competition is tougher, discounts will be higher. However, the estimates I have made are an average of all Boeing aircraft sold in a given year.