With Dubai 2011 underway, Boeing has drawn first blood with a huge order from Emirates.
But first some 787 tidbits.
Boeing sent two of it's 787 test planes on international marketing trips. ZA001 is flying to various 787 customer destinations to show the aircraft around the world. First stop is New Zealand where Air New Zealand is to induct the first 787-9 into it's fleet in a little over 2 years from now. It will go on to Australia from there where Jetstar and QANTAS will take delivery starting in 2013. ZA003 is now flying with a full passenger interior with the test workstations and other flight test equipment removed. It also is sporting a new paint job which is a hybrid of the Dreamliner livery that Boeing painted on ZA001.
Meanwhile, back in Boeing has pushed another 787 out the door and has reallocated several 787 to other airlines. L/N 50 and L/N 51 are currently on the final assembly floor and each has been reallocated to United and ANA respectively . They were to have gone to Ethiopian and LAN but were changed for unknown reasons. With the start of assembly on L/N 51 Boeing is on it's way of 2.5 787s per month with the target of 3.5 to occur sometime in early 2012.
One of the early build 787s appears to have completed the change incorporation and re-work. That airplane is L/N 23 (ZA177) which is destined for Japan Airlines. The aircraft took a check test flight on Nov. 11th and was ferried back to Everett on the 13th. It still does not have a customer interior but that work will be done in Everett along with testing of the interior and then Boeing and customer test flights prior to delivery. Given that work, Boeing can deliver this plane to JAL by the end of December or early January, 2012 depending on the remaining certification activities that need to be completed on the GEnx-1B powered 787. I am still maintaining my short term view that Boeing should be able to deliver 6 more 787 in December (no November deliveries). Most if not all these deliveries will be later production airplanes for ANA with a later production GEnx airplane added in.
Speaking of which, ZA006 continues F&R and ETOPS testing. Last word from Boeing was that GEnx-1B testing was 95% complete so I do anticipate that Boeing can complete all certification testing by the end of this month will the aim of having first delivery by the end of December to either JAL or Air India.
The Dubai Air Show got of to a bang with a huge order by Emirates for 50 777-300ERs. The bang not only came in the size of the order $18bn at list prices, or the fact that this is Boeing's largest commercial aircraft order by value or that it will make Emirates the largest user of the 777. The big bang came in the message this order sent to Airbus. It has been no secret that the market really hasn't accepted the A350-1000 as a viable competitor to the 777-300ER. The market response after launching the A350 coupled with the feeble attempt by Airbus and Rolls Royce to improve the aircraft earlier this year and the 2 year delay (with possibly more delays to come) has angered customers for the airplane, namely Qatar and Emirates. Thus this order at the start of the airshow was meant as a message to Airbus about the status of the A350-1000. Additionally, the A350-1000 is barely a better airplane than the Boeing offering but with the proposed 777-8X/9X (on which Emirates has been working closely with Boeing) thus this latest order would allow Emirates to easily introduce the next iteration of the 777 as this latest order is delivered towards the end of the decade. I wouldn't be surprised if Emirates has a conversion feature in the contract that allows them to convert to the newer model after Boeing launches the airplane with delivery aimed for 2020.
Airbus did get into the order column with an order for 50 A320NEOs from ALAFCO. This same lessor announced today that they sold 6 or their 787 orders to Oman Air. So this order with Oman is really a non-order order. Boeing is still adding more MoUs for the 737 MAX. The count is 700 airplanes spread across 9 customers with only American Airlines the only named customer of those 9. I don't expect any of these MoUs to be firmed before the end of the year but most if not all should be firmed by the end of 1st quarter 2012 in addition to any new customers that would have signed on by then.
Dubai 2011 Totals
ALAFCO - 50 x A320NEO (+30 options)
Emirates - 50 x 777-300ER (+20 options)