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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Airbus surprised the industry, and even some inside Airbus, by announcing 1,055 net orders for 2005, once again claiming to beat Boeing.
By net orders this means what is left after cancellations, but with firm orders, orders to leasing companies who then announce an order when they have found a client, letters of intent, confirmed and not confirmed delivery positions, options and undisclosed orders, it is hardly surprising that journalists, analysts and industry watchers are confused (let alone those who work for the company). Both Airbus and Boeing run superb web sites listing deliveries and booked commitments but so massive that to read properly a 42” plasma screen is really required. In terms of value Airbus has admitted that Boeing secured 55% of the market, mainly due to the success of both the 777 and new 787 twinjets. It could actually be more but no prices paid are actually published.
Airbus last week once again held their annual press briefing in Paris, not for the first time upsetting many European scribes who believe than the multi-national company should move major events around somewhat. But the French like to think that it is a French company forgetting the BAe Systems 20% investment and the massive labour force this side of the channel. The Germans and Spanish are involved too.
There is an argument that the prototype A380 should be re-registered as a G (ie British) aircraft since the UK supplies 60% of the parts. Perhaps E could be secured for Europe. E-AAAA and rolled out that way at Farnborough 2006. For whatever reason ICAO forgot about the letter E. F is for France and G is for Great Britain, and so it goes on. EC is Spain, EI Ireland, EP Iran and amongst many other oddities Belarus is EW.
Last year 2,000+ orders were placed for large transport aircraft and around 660 delivered. Airbus has a production target of 400 in 2006 and Boeing pushing towards the 350 mark, the sum total still well below the actual number of orders taken. Both companies will again struggle to keep the right balance of production rate against sales. Do you expand the factory and come face to face at some time that it is too big. Offer the airline a delivery position that is not only far off, but also removed from conventional marketing strategy and conditions? Airbus also has the problem of the European social environment with higher labour costs than North America. Who is to say in five/ten/15 years” time China and India are not going to be the centre of commercial major aircraft assembly?
In the meantime the orders continue to flood in with Air India formally signing on for 23 Boeing 777s and 27 787 Dreamliners plus 18 Next-Generation 737-800s. Not to be outdone Airbus announced that Mexican start-up Volaris had contracted for ”up to 56 Airbus A320 Family aircraft” which in fact means a commitment for 40 A319 plus options on 16 further A320 family aircraft. New Airbus operator Rome-based Air One has decided on 30 A320s, with 60 more on option, with fellow Italian carrier Eurofly taking in five A350.
2,000 aircraft orders in 2006? Why not? Boeing”s marketing guru Randy Basler is in town this week. We shall hear what he has to say.