Airbus and Boeing: The rivalry continues

Airbus and Boeing: The rivalry continues

The rivalry lives on: Airbus and Boeing compete for orders and delivery, but both smash their forecasts for 2015

The rivalry between Airbus and Boeing has been continually documented over the past few decades, and this year it is clear that both companies are still pushing forward, making progress in the industry, whilst attempting to beat their respective rival.

Overall, last year saw a cut back in orders for the giant suppliers; previously, there had been a spending spree from the fast growing carriers in the Middle East and Asia, however the end of 2014 showed a decrease of orders.  Despite this decrease, both Boeing and Airbus managed to smash their forecasted delivery numbers for 2015.

Boeing in 2014 had held the yearly record of 723 aircraft delivered, however this year the company beat itself by delivering 762 planes, beating their prediction of delivering between 755-760.  These record deliveries are re-enforcing the company’s decision to increase production by 60% over the last five years.  Additionally, Boeing stated that the production of the 787 Dreamliner is predicted to rise from the current 10 per month to 14 per month by 2020.

Last year, Airbus once again beat their own record of delivering 635 aircraft, compared to the 629 in 2014.  This achievement means that Airbus have continually been above and beyond their predictions for delivery for the last 13 years.  The orders this year for Airbus were nearly double those for Boeing, reaching a total of 1,036 net orders from 53 customers.  These orders composed of 897 single-aisle aircraft and 139 wide-bodies.

As of 31st December, Boeing’s order backlog stood at 5,795 aircraft, which represents nearly eight years of production at the current rate.  Airbus have a current backlog of 6,787 aircraft, which equates to the equivalent to 10 years of production at the current rates, and is valued at approximately $996.3 billion.

Both factories are running at full capacity in an aim to gain traction on the orders, and it is rumoured that airlines have been reluctant to spend billions of pounds on aircraft that would not be received for many years.  Alternatively, maybe these long wait times will encourage the airlines to place their orders soon in a bid to not be in a position where they need new aircraft but still have nearly a decade to wait?  Only the next year will tell.