The Boeing 777 production gap has been the main subject in some of the AeroAnlysis articles. AeroAnalysis concluded that between 40-60 orders, depending on the scenario are needed annually to close this gap. Since then, some variables have changed. In this article, AeroAnalysis will not have a look at this gap in particular, but will have a look at the trends, prior to and after the 777X launch.
Figure 1 clearly shows that order inflow for the classic Boeing 777 has been lacking since the Boeing 777X has been launched. From 2000 until 2012, Boeing was able to receive 75 order per year on average. Looking at the years 2010-2012, Boeing was actually able to receive those 75 orders per year. However, as soon as the Boeing 777X was launched order inflow declined sharply.
In the years 2013-2015, order inflow has dropped to 52 on average, this would be sufficient to close the gap according to my prior calculations. However, this was a back-of-the-envelope calculation that does not take into account the fact that orders need to be placed at least one year before production actually starts.
2015 was a make or break year for the program and that is also where I made a mistake, assuming that Boeing would be able to secure at least 50 orders. Halfway through 2015, Boeing secured 25 orders for the Boeing 777 Classic, but ended the year with just 38 orders. It probably is also at this point that Boeing fully understood that a program rate cut would be necessary.