Ok so I'm in the midst of having an email conversation with Saj Ahmad over at Strategic Aero about 787 deliveries when I realize (the light bulb does go off sometimes) that there is another rational for believing that Boeing can reach 50 787 deliveries this year. It all has to do with what we know about deliveries in January 2013.
We do know that Thomson Airways is to get its first 787 ZA317 (LN92) in January 2013. We can assume that Boeing will deliver airplanes 66 to let say 90 by December 2012 (I'm assuming 2013 deliveries will start with LN 91). That is 25 airframes right there that will go from assembly line to flight line, that is 25 787s that will not have to spend time in change incorporation. Boeing has already delivered 8 787s this year. So we are already at 33 787s for 2012 and we have not even touched the undelivered 787s that are sitting around Paine Field trying to finish change incorporation.
So we do know that of those 48 remaining 787s that have yet to finish assembly and change incorporation are airplanes for Air India, Qatar Airways, LAN, ANA, JAL, LOT, China Southern, Royal Air Maroc, Ethiopian Airlines and United. These airplanes will receive at least one if not more of the 787s this year that will be undergoing change incorporation. That is at least 10 787 deliveries from the 787 inventory at Paine. We do know that Air India, Qatar, ANA and United will receive more than 1 but we can also add JAL and China Southern to that list (all these come from the LN 7 to LN 65 lot of 787s). That's 6 more 787s for total of 16 coming from 787 WIP. We also know that Air India is to receive 4 787s this year from the Charleston plant so we should add three more to the total and that gets you 19 787 deliveries from the pre-LN 66 lot of airplanes. Thus the math is as follows:
8 - 787 delivered so far
25 - delivery of LN 66 to LN 90 to be made in 2012
19 - delivery of 787 WIP (defined as LN 7 to LN 65 that have not yet been delivered, this is currently a total of 48 airframes).
8+25+19 = 52.
Simple, isn't it? Now we can probably added a few more for carriers like RAM, LAN, Air India, China Southern, United, Ethiopian and ANA for this year but I am unsure about how far they have to go for change incorporation. The upshot is that Boeing is very conservative with their 787 delivery numbers for 2012.