As 2016 draws to a close, Airbus and Boeing are on course to match their combined annual airliner output from the previous year, but to end significantly below their 2015 orders tally.
Boeing, which is due to announce its full-year performance in early January, is again the production powerhouse, delivering about 750 airliners in 2016. This is roughly 100 more than its rival, but slightly down on the 762 figure it achieved in 2015.
Set to reveal its 2016 numbers by the middle of January, Airbus is heading towards its 650 deliveries target at year-end: a slight rise on 2015’s 635. Its final tally depends on how close it comes to the 50 A350 shipments planned for the year. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows it had handed over 41 by 23 December – including seven in the first two weeks of the month.
While it has been struggling on A320neo shipments, largely due to engine issues, Fleets Analyzer shows Airbus had delivered 514 single-aisles (all variants) by the start of the festive period – well beyond the 491 handed over in 2015.
Boeing, which passed Airbus in single-aisle shipments in 2015, has slipped back into second place. By the third week of December it had delivered over 480 737s, indicating a close repeat of 2015’s 495 units.
Second-guessing the final orders’ tally for Airbus and Boeing is always a challenge, given the likelihood of some “surprise” last-minute deals that usually make the final cut. But given that in 2015 the two protagonists secured a combined 1,848 net orders (1,080 for Airbus and 768 for Boeing), it will be a hard task for that to be repeated in 2016.
FlightGlobal estimates that by the start of the festive break, Airbus’s net orders had reached 510 (including the Iran Air deal) and Boeing’s around 482 (excluding Iran Air, which had not been firmly contracted at that point). That puts the two at just below the 1,000-order mark – some 850 shy of 2015 – ahead of the final counts in January.