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In 2016, we started covering orders and deliveries for Boeing  and Airbus with monthly reports, and while this does not reflect current financial performance, we will continue this coverage as it gives somewhat of an idea of current performance as well as ability for the respective manufacturers to grow order books and possibly earnings in the future on healthy order books. Next to that, the order inflow is an almost direct reflection of the market environment on the commercial aircraft market. In this article, we will have a look at the orders and deliveries for the month of December.

Orders

Boeing started the year off strong accumulating 226 gross orders in the first three months. After that, sales plateaued, resulting in Boeing’s cumulative orders to fall year over year. This, however, was to be expected with the Paris Air Show being hosted in June. In June, we saw a fresh uptick in order activity as aircraft deals were announced at the Paris Air Show. In the months after that, we are seeing some commitments announced at the air show being firmed up with a strong uptick in order activity in September, and order activity continued heading north after the November Dubai Airshow. Most of these orders, however, can be attributed to order intentions announced during the Paris Air Show. In December, a final uptick followed bringing gross order inflow for Boeing to 1,043 units.

In December, Boeing booked 265 orders, 10 wide body jets, and 255 single-aisle aircraft:

  • The biggest order came from flydubai, which finalized an order for 175 aircraft, a mix of the biggest three Boeing 737 MAX variants.
  • GECAS ordered 4 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
  • Southwest Airlines  ordered 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft exercising options and simultaneously deferring MAX 7 deliveries.
  • Two unidentified customers ordered 6 and 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, respectively.
  • Turkish Airlines ordered 3 Boeing 777Fs after taking delivery of the freighters that were an order conversion from the passenger variant.
  • Royal Air Maroc ordered 2 Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
  • An unidentified customer ordered 5 Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

Cancellations increased by 14 units month over month, bringing the total cancellations to 141 for the year. All cancellations in December were for the Boeing 737 program. With 265 orders in December 2017, order inflow decreased by 25 units year over year. The three-year and five-year averages for the order inflow in December stand at 225 and 234 orders, respectively. So, the order inflow was above the 3-year and 5-year average showing that Boeing had a good month. Boeing accumulated 1,053 gross orders in 2017 compared to 848 gross orders in 2016. Boeing blew past its 2016 order inflow, and its net order figure of 912 orders was the best result in the last 3 years.

Deliveries

In 2016, Boeing delivered 748 aircraft, slightly less compared to its record-breaking year in 2015. For 2017, Boeing aimed to deliver between 760 and 765 aircraft, which is more or less in line with the deliveries in 2015. The jet maker ended up delivering 763 jets to customers around the world. Despite this being a record-breaking output, it should also be noted that the record has been broken with a minimal difference.

In December, Boeing delivered 83 aircraft divided between 22 wide bodies and 61 narrow bodies:

  • Boeing delivered a single Boeing 767 Freighter to FedEx, which is the sole customer for the aircraft.
  • One Boeing 747-8F and one Boeing 747-8 were delivered.
  • Eleven Boeing 787 aircraft were delivered, 1 unit shy of the production rate.
  • Eight Boeing 777s aircraft were delivered, which is 3 units higher than the production rate.
  • A total of 61 Boeing 737 aircraft were delivered, including 25 MAX aircraft.

During the month, three customers took delivery of their first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing achieved its delivery goals setting a new record delivery of 763 units.

Book-to-bill ratio

For the full year, Boeing expected a book-to-bill ratio of about 1. In December, this ratio was 3.19 significantly higher than the book-to-bill ratio for the entire year. In 2017, Boeing booked 1,053 orders and delivered 763 aircraft. This implies a gross book-to-bill ratio of 1.4, which is higher than what Boeing expects for the full year. After cancellations, the book-to-bill still looked impressive with a ratio of 1.2.

Conclusion

In December, Boeing’s order inflow increased, primarily aided by the finalization of a mega order from flydubai. During the year, Boeing has done good business selling its aircraft, exceeding expectations while simultaneously setting a new delivery record. Boeing ended the year with 912 new net orders, adding key customers for the Boeing 787, Boeing 777X, and also the newly launched Boeing 737 MAX 10 to count on the love of some airlines.