Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Boeing Posts 8 787 Cancellations in March but books 32 orders

Boeing released their monthly order and delivery totals for March and while the expected orders from Bank of China (BOC) and Turkish Airlines showed up there was a surprise cancellation.  Norwegian Air cancelled 6 787-9 thus their total 787-9 ordered went from 19 to 13 with 6 already delivered and 4 airplanes scheduled for final assembly over the next 9 months or so.  The other 2 cancellations came from China Development Bank.

The 787-8 is staging a little bit of an orders come back with the 22 -8s ordered by American Airlines this month, Boeing also booked 1 787-8 from an unidentified customer in March.

Boeing total order book (including the American Air order) stands at 1,365 with 441 x 787-8 (350 delivered and 91 backlog); 753 x 787-9 (320 delivered and 433 backlog); 171 x 787-10 ordered (1 delivered, 170 backlog).  These numbers are as of April 10 but does not include any April deliveries.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

American Airlines pulls the trigger on mega 787 order

American Airlines and Boeing announced a firm 47 strong order for the 787.  The order consists of 22 787-8s which will start arriving in 2020 and 25 787-9s which will be delivered starting in 2023.  These airplanes will be used to replace the 767-300ER, A330-300, and older 777-200ER thus simplifying American's widebody fleet.  The order includes another 28 options for the 787.

American Airlines will cancel the order for 22 Airbus A350 that was ordered by US Airways in a pre-merger deal.  American is also deferring deliveries of 40 737MAX airplanes that were to be delivered between 2020 and 2022.

While this is a firm order what is unclear is if this is an exercise of 58 787 options that American Airlines held as part of their original order.  Boeing will only confirm that the new order is firm and booked.  If the two orders were taken as separate then it would mean that American Airlines order (firm + options) 175 787s which doesn't seem realistic even for an airline as large as American.  A more reasonable conclusion is that the new order is a partial exercise of the 58 options plus adding more options for future replacement and growth.

Currently American's widebody fleet (not including the 787) is made up of the following:

A330-200 - 15
A330-300 - 9
767-300ER - 23
777-200ER - 47
777-300ER - 20

Excluding the 77-300ER which are young and should be in their fleet for years to come, the total near term widebody replacements that American will need is 94 airplanes (encompassing all the A330, 767 and 777-200).  By my reasoning, American has orders for 93 787s - 47 firm new order, 7 firm current order, 39 options (11 current order options + 28 new order options).  This will be enough to simply their widebody fleet to just three types by around 2026 or so the 777-300ER, 787-8 and 787-9.  It is possible that American can use the 39 options for the 787-10 (or any future improved model of the 787).

This order is a shot in the arm for the 787-8 whose orders have been lagging as of late as many customers have been opting for the larger 787-9.  In the futrue the 39 options will probably be used for A330-200 replacement (787-9) and 777-200ER replacement (mix of 787-9 and 787-10).

With this booked order, Boeing now has 1366 order for the 787 (440 787-8, 755 787-9 and 171 787-10).

Here's the text of Boeing's Press Release:

Boeing, American Airlines Sign Major Order for 47 787 Dreamliners

World's largest airline to more than double its Dreamliner fleet

Boeing and American Airlines today announced the world's largest airline will more than double its 787 Dreamliner fleet with a new order for 47 of the super-efficient airplane plus 28 options. The 47 787s are valued at more than $12 billion at list prices and makes American Airlines the largest 787 customer in the Western Hemisphere.
American originally ordered 42 787 Dreamliners and has been using the airplanes' tremendous fuel efficiency and superior passenger amenities to open new routes around the world, including Asia Pacific and Europe, and boost its network efficiency. While American still has more airplanes on the way from its initial order, the airline is buying the additional Dreamliners – 22 787-8s and 25 787-9s – to further modernize and expand its fleet.
"We are extremely honored that American Airlines, is deepening its commitment to the 787 Dreamliner. This new order is a powerful endorsement of the 787 family's unique passenger appeal and unmatched ability to help airlines open new routes and grow profitably," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister.
Built with lightweight composite materials and powered by advanced engines, the Dreamliner family lowers operating costs by more than 20 percent compared to previous airplanes, and nearly 10 percent compared to today's competing jets.
American becomes the latest airline to place a repeat order for the 787 Dreamliner. More than half of the program's 71 customers have done so, which has helped the 787 program achieve more than 1,350 orders to date.
"We are showing again and again that the 787 Dreamliner is the champion in its class. The airplane's tremendous value proposition explains why it has become the fastest selling twin-aisle jet in history," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. "And when we match the Dreamliner with Boeing's suite of services, it is a combination that delivers unbeatable value for our customers."
Boeing's Global Services division provides American Airlines with efficiency tools such as Airplane Health Management and Toolbox, which help the airline improve operational performance and improve dispatch reliability.
The 787-8 Dreamliner can fly 242 passengers up to 7,355 nautical miles (13,620 km) in a typical two-class configuration. The 787-9, a stretch of the 787-8, can fly 290 passengers up to 7,635 nautical miles.
About Boeing and American Airlines' history
The relationship between Boeing and American Airlines spans over 80 years. Some of the key shared milestones include:
  • June 1936: American becomes the first to fly the Douglas DC-3 in commercial service
  • January 1959: American uses the Boeing 707 to offer the first coast-to-coast jet service
  • March 1961: American is the first in-service with the Boeing 720B
  • July 1971: The first DC-10 delivery goes to American
  • May 2015: American flies its first revenue flight with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Strange 787 flight

Ok this is out of the blue but the first 787-9 for Gulf Air, ZB858, (LN 689, A9C-FA) is flying to Awali Sakhir Air Base in Bahrain.  I haven't the foggiest idea why but it had left Paine Field at 2:15 PM local time as BOE 858.

Prior to today's flight this aircraft had only the one Boeing (B-1) test flight and, according to my data, is not due to be delivered until late April.  In addition it is flying to a Bahraini Air Base and not a commercial airport so it is a little suspicious unless Boeing wants to show off Gulf Air's new toy to Bahraini royalty which is plausible.  I really doubt this any sort of delivery flight as it is flying under a Boeing test flight number.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Boeing 787 March 2018 Month End Review

Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett107
To be assembled in Charleston83
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly8
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work3
Pre-Flight Prep11
Production Testing5
Non Customer Flight Tests0
Ready for Delivery2

March was a busy month for the 787 program in more ways than one.
Singapore's 1 787-10 9V-SCA. Photo by Mike Cassidy (with H/T)

First, Boeing delivered the 1st 787-10 to launch customer Singapore Airlines in an elaborate delivery ceremony that took place on March 24th.  The aircraft was contractually delivered on March 14th but Singapore kept it in Charleston for 10 days to conduct training flights in the area until the delivery ceremony and flyaway this past week.

Second, Boeing delivered 15 787s in March, the largest number of deliveries of 787 since December 2014 when Boeing delivered 18 aircraft.  Of the 15 delivered, Boeing turned over 14 x 787-9s and 1 787-10.  The manufacturer now has delivered a total of 670 787 (350 x 787-8, 319 x 787-9 and 1 x 787-10).  For the first quarter, 2018  Boeing delivered 34 787s (33 x 787-9, 1 x 787-10).

Besides the delivery to Singapore, the other notable deliveries in March include:

El Al's first direct purchase 787-9 (they've been receiving 787s on lease).
Virgin Atlantic's penultimate 787-9 with their 17th and last aircraft in flight tests to be delivered next month.
Xiamen's last 2 787-9s on order thus completing their order for 6 787-9s.
LOT Polish Airlines 1st 787-9 leased from Aviation Capital Group.
British Airways' penultimate 787-9.

On the production side, Boeing was also very busy as they started final assembly on 14 787s while rolling out 13 aircraft.  Of those airplanes, Boeing assembled 6 787s within the month of March.  Boeing delivered more airplanes than they rolled out in March thus reducing the crowded flightlines at Charleston and Everett.

On the sales side, it appears that American Airlines is close to placing a large 787 order with Boeing after Airbus walked away from American's widebody competition.  American has been looking to get out of the A350 order that merger partner US Airways had placed and which the carrier inherited after the two airlines combined.  American made known their desire not to have a sub-fleet of aircraft in their inventory. Boeing pushed the 787 while Airbus pushed the A330NEO.  American has the A330CEO (also inherited from US Airways).  Airbus indicated that they could not beat Boeing on price that was being offered for the 787 and thus walked away.  It remains to be seen which version of the 787 American will order but rumors pointed to the 787-8 and 787-9.  American holds 58 options thus I see them exercising a good chunk of those options and cancelling the A350 order which will incur a forfeiture of the deposit that was paid to Airbus.  I believe that Boeing probably offered to pay American the deposit in the form of services and spare parts for the 787 though I don't have any solid information on this.  It would be in keeping with other Boeing's sales practices from other campaigns.  With a little bit more than three months to go until Farnborough 2018, I expect Boeing to be finalizing a few 787 deals over the three months including Emirates' mega deal for the 787.

Lastly,  I want to thank Mike Cassidy for allowing me to use his gorgeous photos of the Singapore 787-10 that he took at Charleston.  Give him a follow on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/58762386@N08/with/39728338785/

Here are a couple more examples of his work:

Photo by Mike Cassidy

Photo by Mike Cassidy

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