With the teething problems for the 787 now in the past, and deliveries running smoothly from two plants, the Dreamliner program is reaching its potential, albeit somewhat late. As we look at the order book and delivery history by year, some interesting trends emerge. The first is the choice of engines.
It appears GE is building a strong case for being the preferred engine on the 787. The green box shows the to date market share. GE is comfortably ahead in deliveries and only if all of the undecided (N/A) orders go to Rolls-Royce could they take the lead. Of course Rolls-Royce is not going to win all the undecided orders, and we expect GE to maintain its leadership on the program. It seems the GE/Boeing axis versus the Rolls-Royce/Airbus axis is playing out here in terms of customer choice.
Next looking at the model breakdown are we see a trend towards the larger models. 787-8 orders have slowed to under one third of all 787 orders. The -9 has shown high acceptance with half of all orders. The -10 had a great 2013 and has been relatively quiet since, but we expect to see more orders in the next two weeks at the upcoming Paris Air Show.
Looking at deliveries, the -8 has a strong lead, but in the first few months of 2015 we see the -9 is catching up. It looks like the -9 is going to become to the 787 program what the -800 became among the 737NG models – the best selling version in the middle of the three offerings.
It appears the 787-9 with GE engines will become the most popular model of the Dreamliner, and become the mainstay of international fleets as a “right sized” aircraft for smaller markets. The competition with the A350-900 will become hot and heavy over the next few years as these two fuel efficient models vie for dominance in the center of the wide-body market.