NEWTOWN, Conn., June 16, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to data compiled by Forecast International, after a relatively weak order intake in April (34 net new orders), Boeing had a terrific month and landed 113 net new orders in May (125 gross/12 cancellations), including an order for 100 737 MAX 200 jets from VietJet. Also, Norwegian exercised eight of its 100 737 MAX 8 options, while Nigerian carrier Arik Air ordered eight 737 MAX 8s.
Boeing currently plans to raise its 737 production rate from 42 per month today to 47 and 52 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In January 2016, Boeing's CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, announced that demand supports a further increase to 57 737s per month in 2019.
In the orders race, Airbus had another strong month and landed about 70 net new orders in May (83 gross orders minus 13 cancellations), including a large order from an undisclosed customer, which Airbus announced is a new client for the NEO jetliner. The undisclosed buyer placed an order for 45 A320neo and 15 A321neo jets. Furthermore, Philippine Airlines placed an order for six A350-900s, while Cebu Pacific ordered two A321neos – see full list of orders in data table below.
Airbus' order backlog as of May 31, 2016, stands at 6,759 jets (of which 5,497, or 81 percent, are A320 family narrowbodies), ahead of Boeing's 5,762 (of which 4,428, or 77 percent, are 737 narrowbody jets). The number of Airbus aircraft to be built and delivered represents a 10-year backlog (10.6 years of production). In comparison, Boeing's backlog would "only" last 7.6 years at the 2015 production level.
"An important question for the industry is whether the massive backlogs peaked in 2015 or will continue to grow throughout 2016," said Kasper Oestergaard, Forecast International's European correspondent. "The industry is off to a slow start in 2016, but orders have been strong in April and May."
Airbus is 57 net orders down so far this year compared to January-May 2015, while Boeing is up 105. The end result is still too early to call, but Oestergaard believe that backlogs at both companies will decline in 2016, due to slower GDP growth and low oil prices. According to both Airbus and Boeing, the demand for passenger aircraft is tied to the growth in worldwide revenue passenger miles (RPMs), which again is highly correlated with global GDP growth.
Additional information regarding Airbus and Boeing aircraft backlogs is available at the Forecast International Blog.
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