These two models are the bellwether for Boeing. They account for the most orders and are in the largest segment of the market. What does the data show us about these two key models?
In the chart the brighter the shade of the dot, the greater the number is for each year. The chart shows the orders for these two models from 2010 through 2018.
We can see NG orders started fading from 2013 while MAX orders started to grow from 2012. By 2018, the market has almost completely moved over to the MAX. (Boeing still does not separate the various MAX models.)
Notice that North America has frequently been a bright spot for Boeing, most certainly for MAX. The big customers are American, United and Air Canada. Delta was a key customer for the NG, but not MAX.
Another interesting item to note is the growth in “Unidentified” specifically for MAX. Is there perhaps a correlation between the sharp jump in the Unidentified numbers after 2016? There is a decline in the number of orders for MAX from Asia. Indeed, when digging deeper into the MAX orders, look at what happens with China. It just fades away – for the newest model and a market with seemingly insatiable air travel demand?
Looking at the NG we can see China was a hot spot. But then came 2016.
2016 was a pivotal year for USA and China relations. Perhaps what we are seeing is that pivot being played out, with Chinese interest in the MAX being hidden from view until an opportune time to emerge. Ah, politics!