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April 12, 2024
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The Boeing 787 has been around for a number of years, moved through a painful birth, and now increasingly contributes to Boeing’s success in dominating the widebody segment.  Boeing’s perseverance is paying off.  It might be years before the 787 achieves break-even, but there is little doubt that the program will do so.

Here are a few charts to give us an idea of how the program is unfolding.

Notice the steady order growth over the years.  Orders slowed while Boeing went through program hiccups.  But as these were resolved, customer orders came back.  More on that later.

2016-02-04_8-51-49One aspect of these orders is a trend towards the larger models.  The chart above indicates this, but the following chart shows it more clearly.  Up-sizing is really occurring.  Customers are moving up because the larger aircraft are more capable and offer better economics.

2016-02-04_8-54-44Taking a look at engine selections also provides interesting trends.  Rolls-Royce’s initial success with the program has slowed.  GE’s share grew continuously, probably because of GECAS influence, but also because the GE product delivers.  A sizable number of 787 orders have not selected engines yet.

2016-02-04_9-20-12In the next table we look at the details of the unidentified engine selections.  We believe some engine selections can be reasonably guessed at based on the airline’s predilections or earlier engine selections.  Rolls-Royce customers are the more predictable in our view.

2016-02-04_10-00-16The 787 program is starting to build a strong following with its customers.  By that we mean, a number of airlines have become repeat buyers.  This sends a strong signal of confidence in the program and the aircraft’s performance.

As the next table demonstrates, even though this table does not include every repeat customer (it includes selected airlines),  those which have made repeat orders are not only among the largest airlines, many are highly influential.  The United orders include those of Continental.

As the numbers show, a number of airlines they have “topped up” orders as they see more network opportunities for the 787.  But note also that a number have added growth models in volume.

2016-02-04_10-18-06The data shows Boeing’s 787 program has managed to build strong customer support and confidence.   Repeated orders from existing customers can only mean one thing – the airplane does what it was promised to do.

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5 thoughts on “Boeing 787 Order Trends

  1. The data of this article are inconsistent with those of http://www.pdxlight.com/787.htm The latter source shows that 787-8 firm orders stood at high-600’s in the year 2010, while they are at 450 currently (not backlog, firm orders). So around one-third of 787-8 firm orders have been converted/cancelled. Particularly in this fuel cost environment, the trip cost delta between the -8 and -9 variants is negligible, and thus the 787-8 is uneconomical relative to the 787-9, while also being range/payload compromised.

    The 787 program will possibly break even at some point in a distant future, but eliminating the deferred production costs within the 1300 unit accounting block is quite unrealistic. In Boeing’s 10-Q SEC Filings, it is stated that due to the 787 program challenges, “the program could face […] a reach-forward loss that may be material”. This seems almost like a foregone conclusion. Though, it should be noted that in addition to cash generation, the 787 program provides value to the Boeing company through feeding technology into the 737 and 777 programs, which could effectively be worth several billions ultimately.

  2. It’s interesting that over 4 years after first delivery, there is no announced upgrade plan for existing models yet. Of course the simple stretch of the -9 into the -10 is underway, but that was planned 10 years ago. Most previous models have had heavier gross weight, longer range models within a few years. On one hand, the fact that Boeing has sold so many -8s and -9s in their initial configuration is a testament to how well the initial models were designed. On the other hand, there is obviously potential to improve these designs to entice more orders.

    It would be almost trivial to upgrade the -8 to the same gross weight as the -9 and -10, which would give it ULR range. The one drawback to the -10 is its somewhat limited range, so an ER version could make that the 787s best selling model. Even the -9 could use an ER version to allow routes like SIN-LAX without payload restrictions. Now that the 787s backlog is getting munched through, it’s time for Boeing to consider a round of upgrades to keep it at the forefront in its class.

  3. Referring to http://www.pdxlight.com/787.htm dated November 6 (assumed 2015) vs http://nyc787.blogspot.co.za/ (aka ALL THINGS 787) Last Updated 4 Feb 2016, I would stick with ALL THINGS 787, alongside the Boeing Deliver portal page, that is accurate with airline customer to be within a week. (with BBJ and Military there is delays if they are Green air-frames been modified). However as I have seen from the past announcements gather around airshows, but the number appear to be listed as Undisclosed, but most can be figured out if you following the business long enough like those here at AirInsight.

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