The numbers are in for big duopoly’s the first half of 2015. How do they look? While there are no real surprises, let’s examine the numbers for Orders and Deliveries.
Airbus won the competition on number of aircraft ordered, 348 to Boeing’s 325. But a concern that we have previously stated remains — Airbus is extremely dependent on the A320 family for business. Of the 290 A320 family orders so far in 2015, 73% are for the A320. Happily there were also 76 of the larger A321s ordered. Along with one A318 (amazing these are still being ordered) and two A319neos, narrow-bodies represented 83% of the Airbus orders in the first half.
Boeing on the other hand is much less dependent on their single aisles and did well with strong sales in wide bodies. Even the 747 was selling, compared to zero A380s – because Boeing has a freighter. When looking at the core wide body market, the 777 and 787 are outselling the combined A330 and A350 handily. It’s true this is only the first half and that Airbus made a big A330 sale to China after the period ended. But as we look towards the second half of the year, we do not see anything startling that is likely to change the patterns shown in the first half.
While Airbus won the race on number of aircraft ordered, Boeing won the race on the dollar value of those orders. The following graphic shows orders by aircraft family, and the percentage of orders for each aircraft family.
While strong order numbers may be good, in the end it’s the value of the orders that drive stock price and shareholder returns. Boeing, with a larger wide-body mix, is clear the winner, as shown in the table below.
The following chart shows the outcome for deliveries completed in the first half of 2015. Boeing is clearly the winner – it out produced Airbus both in the single aisle market and it delivered many more high value wide bodies, with a total of 381 deliveries to Airbus’ 304. The 787 plants are producing at their planned rates and deliveries are now reliable. The importance of this is crucial – as the 787 is being squeezed by the lower priced A330 and the A350 is now being delivered (if slowly) to compete with the 787-9 and 777.
Boeing dare not stumble in 787 deliveries. The A330 program benefited significantly from previous 787 stumbles, but those now appear to be in the rear-view mirror. Although 777 pricing on current models has softened, Boeing has been able to get them in customers’ hands at a good clip. The production rate is about equal to the A330, but the larger 777 sells for a higher price than the A330.
Airbus has to seriously accelerate A350 deliveries if it is to catch Boeing in revenue generation. Even A350 orders would probably begin to grow if deliveries sped up. The 767F is in slow pace for freighters, waiting for the tanker program to finally kick in – and has a role as a spoiler to the A330F. Finally the 747-8 is not delivering as fast as the A380 – but, when adding the freighter, it is selling better.