At first sight the year 2013 may seem to have been an annus horribilis for the Boeing 787 program with the months-long grounding of the fleet due to the lithium-ion batteries heat runaway issue, the fires that some of the aircraft in the operating fleet suffered, etc. On the other hand, after 4 years of sales impasse (from 2009 to 2012, inclusive), in which the cumulative net orders of those 4 years stood at a negative 62 aircraft cancelled, in 2013 Boeing recorded 183 new orders against just a single cancellation. Thus, 182 net orders. That is the 3rd best year in sales since the program was launched in 2004.
Last year, I wrote a post wondering whether the grounding of the fleet could be translated into some cancellations. Well, it didn’t so far. Quite the contrary, it got some big contracts from American Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, British Airways and GECAS.
In last year’s post I included a graphic that I have updated for this post, in order to reflect this recovery and have in one snapshot a view of the orders, cancellations, (net orders), deliveries and backlog.
787 orders, cancellations, deliveries and backlog through 2013.
Airbus announced on Monday its latest Global Market Forecast (PDF, 4.6MB) for the 20-year period 2010-2029. Media has already highlighted the main points: ~26,000 new aircraft will be delivered with a market value of ~3,200bn$.
Some months ago, Boeing published its equivalent study, the Current Market Outlook (PDF, 8.2MB) for the same period.
It is interesting to compare the two of them. In that way we can see how each other treat competitors’ products (mainly A380) and how they try to shape the market and send messages to it (point-to-point & hub-spoke).
However, it is not easy to compare the studies as they use slightly different segmentations, disclose in different ways the value of aircraft for the segments (list prices) and is not always clear how to discount freighter aircraft from global figures. I dig for some time into those numbers and arrived to the following table:
Comparison of Airbus GMF and Boeing CMO 2010-2029.
Some comments on the comparison:
- Boeing sees demand for 13% more aircraft with a 10% more value.
- However, this higher demand is not applicable to all segments: Boeing sees ~60% less A380s or equivalent being delivered over the next 20 years, while 18% more single aisle (A320s) and 12% more twin aisle (A330/A350s).
- Boeing plays down A380 potential, but sees a very similar number of RPKs (“revenue passenger kilometer”), that is, the number of paying passenger by the distance they are transported. Airbus forecasts for 2029 12.03 RPKs while Boeing forecasts 12.60 (in trillion).
- The difference of less than 5% in RPKs means that out of the 13% difference in aircraft deliveries over 8% comes from the different business model each company is trying to push.
- Finally, we can see that Boeing uses again higher average prices for smaller aircraft and a lower reference price for A380s.
Enjoy the two documents, differences apart, they gave a very good piece of information and insight about the market.