OEMs publish list prices. This is useful and amusing at the same time. Amusing because nobody pays list – nobody. Every campaign is bitterly fought and incumbents make any deal they must to keep the customer on-side. It’s a street fight and it gets messy. But the list prices are useful as a guide – and only a guide. This is a way to “send a message” to those who need to get the message. At ISTAT Americas earlier this year a panelist responded to a question about pricing as follows: “Go to the OEM website, look up the price and divide by two”.
Airbus and Boeing recently announced annual price increases. We decided to compare prices in recent years and determine whether or not they have lagged, kept pace with, or exceeded the rate of general inflation. Since aircraft are priced in $US, we utilized the Consumer Price Index in the United States as the basis for that comparison. We’ve selected several aircraft that have been available from 2001-2015, and utilized data points from the OEM’s 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2015 price lists. The results, in the table below, indicate that inflation in aircraft prices has outpaced general inflation, and that list prices for Airbus models have outpaced price increases at Boeing.