That said, it seems that there are several deals in the hopper that may yield some very promising results. As mentioned before these deals are coming from the Middle East but these deals may be larger than originally thought.
Saudia announced this week that they are purchasing 15 777-300ER and 13 787s. Immediately speculation was that this 787 was an order that is on Boeing's books as an unidentified 787-9 order posted on Dec. 5, 2008. I have not been able to confirm that as of yet. However a Twitter user from Saudi Arabia has posted some interesting tidbits about the Saudi order:
Translated (via Google Translate) it says:على حسب ما وصلني من مصادري في "السعودية" ان هناك صفقة إضافية لطائرات البوينج 787-10 سيتم توقيعها قريبا بعدد 13 طائرة .. pic.twitter.com/U2Xp6xvTfI— Saudi Airliner (@SaudiAirliner) September 23, 2016
"According to what I received from my sources in the "Arabia" that there are additional to the deal for the Boeing 787-10 will be signed soon, the number of 13 aircraft"
On September 28th this Tweet came out:
اتفاقية "السعودية" الجديدة للاستحواذ على63طائرة اشتملت على 13 طائرة بوينج 787، وصلني قبل قليل ان 10 طائرات ستكون 787-10 والثلاث الأخرى 787-9 pic.twitter.com/P4WUj0VquN— Saudi Airliner (@SaudiAirliner) September 28, 2016
Translated it says:
"Agreement "Saudi Arabia" of the new acquisitions on the 63 aircraft included 13 Boeing 787s, I received a little while ago that the 10 planes wold be 787-10 and the other three 787-9"Let's put this all in perspective. Saudia had an initial order of 8 787-9s of which 4 have been delivered and the remaining 4 will be delivered next year. But according to this table below, Saudia should receive 7 787s next year. Currently I only show four but there is an order from the Saudi Ministry of Finance for 3 787-9 to be delivered in 2017.
The 3 787-9 for Saudi Ministry of Finance has been on the firing order for some time and looking at the Saudia Airlines fleet table above for the future fleet it shows the 787s for the airline coming from the Saudi Ministry of Finance. Thus it seems the 13 unidentified orders are for the Saudi Ministry of Finance of which 3 will be 787-9 that will be delivered next year along with 4 direct purchased 787-9. Saudia (via the Saudi Ministry of Finance) will receive the 787-10 starting in 2018. I believe there may be more clarity on this issue when Boeing releases its monthly order and delivery report for September.هذا الجدول ملخص لطلبيات "السعودية" بالإضافة إلى مواعيد استلام الطائرات ..— Saudi Airliner (@SaudiAirliner) September 23, 2016
تشمل A320CEO و A320NEO pic.twitter.com/8ZIspJko6D
The other big news was broken by Bloomberg was regarding Qatar Airways' widebody order with Boeing. This is a new order that has not hit the order book as of yet. It was supposed to be announced at Farnborough this year but was delayed by the Qatari government due to the stalled F-15 deal with Washington. U-Turn Al has been upset with Airbus for their delays on the A320neo and the A350 thus it appears that Boeing will be benefiting from Airbus' screw up. One has to wonder if there is a 737MAX order in there as well as rumored.
Bloomberg is reporting that the talks are for at least 30 777 and 787 no word on how many of each of which sub-type. Now Qatar Airways has said that they intend to exercise the 30 787 options and I had expected them to do that at Farnborough this year. I still believe that they will exercise all 30 for a mix of 787-9 and 787-10 as well as take additional 777s. Thus the order that Bloomberg refers to may be larger than 30 and I believe it may be as much as 45 to 50 total aircraft of which 30 are 787s and 15 to 20 are 777.
Another transaction that is hotly anticipated is the Emirates decision between the 787 and the A350-900. The decision has been dragged out for a long time but word is that it should come by the end of the year.There aren't really any big showy air shows scheduled over the 4th quarter so we'll see how this one is announced but I'm still thinking that Boeing is the odds on favorite to walk away with the order. I do think it would be a mixture of 787-9 and 787-10. The 787-10 give Emirates the ability to fly high density medium haul routes like to India and points east of India as well to some high density routes to eastern Europe where a 777 or an A380 are too many seats. I can see them taking 30 or so 787-9s and 45 787-10.
While Boeing has permission to sell aircraft to Iran Air, it appears that the discussions have revolved around supplying the main Iranian carrier with 737s and 777s and possibly some 747-8Is. While the 787 may have been ruled out for Iran Air there are private Iranian airlines that may have interest in the 787 including Mahan Air. A 787 order from Iranian airlines may not come until next year at the earliest.
And there is the order for 8 787-9 from Pakistan International Airlines which is awaiting final approval from, I believe, the Government of Pakistan. We can possibly see this order on Boeing's order book by the end of the year.
Lastly, I reported that Turkish Airlines was about to finalize an order for the 787 and 777X. As of right now that order is on hold as the Turkish government is re-prioritizing finances and Turkish Airlines fleet renewal is not a priority it seems. Turkish Airlines was going to order the 787-9 and 777-9 as part of their widebody modernization program. Apparently the delivery of the remaining 777-300ERs are also on hold. I believe that once Turkish Airlines has righted the ship financially they will be in a position to place the order with Boeing.