The big duopoly 1Q15 numbers are now out. What’s the score?In terms of orders, Airbus scored 205 passenger orders and four freighters. Boeing 106 passenger orders and ten freighters. But as we know its not just the numbers but the quality of these numbers.
The chart shows Airbus continues to be extremely reliant on the A320 family. This is at the cut throat end of the market where pricing is everything. Even with economies of scale, Airbus can’t be making its aircraft any cheaper than Boeing can. Airbus’ orders are pretty weak in other segments. Interest in the A330neo has not been as strong as hoped and the A350 needs orders too. The Emirates campaign will be brutal. The lack of orders for the A380 has to gnaw.
Boeing also is deeply exposed to the 737 sized market, but it has been more successful in the larger (much more profitable) segments. MAX is doing well in the 8 version – Ryanair will encourage others to look at the MAX200. But Airbus is selling faster in this segment and they have a wider product range. The 787 is selling well and aggressive sales (much less profitable) ensured 777-300ER sales.
In terms of deliveries, both OEMs have the plants at maximum capacity in the smaller segments. Both plan to increase production even further. Regular readers will recognize the shrinking bottom end in the chart below. Airbus remains more exposed to this and is likely why Airbus is so aggressive when facing the CSeries. Boeing appears to just up-size its customers.
Airbus looks much better in the larger delivery segments (compared to its orders) as the A330 plays its role as a golden goose. A350 deliveries are surprisingly slow. We wonder what Qatar and others are saying privately to Airbus. The A380s keep rolling out and Airbus has now delivered half the orders. Almost certainly that program is under the most pressure.
Boeing is executing the 787 program well and the global fleet is now 269. Interestingly the 30 787s delivered in 1Q15 puts it on an annual delivery rate of 120. Boeing is still pacing its 777 deliveries slower than last year and this will likely will continue unless the company can get more orders for the current model.