By the end
of April there had been orders for 282 large commercial jet aircraft and 1,106 jet engines. In terms of aircraft, the intake
was the lowest for the first four months of a year since 2010 but engines did better; slightly less than last year but more
than by the end of April 2015. Aircraft and engine deliveries haven't exactly improved, there have been slightly fewer
than last year, but the low order intake means that only seven aircraft and two engine programs have larger backlogs than
at the start of the year.
At the end of April the aircraft backlog was lower than at the start of the year but the engine order
book was larger, driven by an increase in the number of single-aisle engines. This is actually exactly what happened last
year - the aircraft backlog was down but the engine order book was up, driven by single-aisle engines. The numbers are a bit
different this time though. The aircraft backlog drop has been larger and the engine order book gain has been much smaller.
What is very different this year is that far fewer aircraft
and engine programs had larger backlogs at the end of April than at the start of the year. A year ago it was a case of 11
aircraft programs and seven engine programs. This time it is seven aircraft programs and two engine programs. Of these, just
one aircraft program, the 737 MAX, has had a reasonably large backlog gain and just one engine program, CFM LEAP, has had
a very large order book gain. What is striking here is that the 737-800 has had the largest backlog fall and the CFM56-7BE
has had the largest engine order book fall.
is all to do with orders. Boeing has done well with more single-aisle and more widebody orders than by the end of April last
year. Airbus has taken fewer orders for both single-aisles and widebodies.
Boeing has so far taken orders for 193 single-aisles and 38 widebodies. The single-aisle intake is
52 more than by the end of April last year and it is also over five times as many as Airbus. Boeing's widebody order intake
is six aircraft more than by the end of April last year and more than double the Airbus widebody intake. The European manufacturer
has taken orders for 37 single-aisles and 14 widebodies so far this year and in both segments this is Airbus' lowest order
intake for the Jan-April period in years.
has had more deliveries this year than in the first four months of last year but the company's delivery numbers far exceed
the order intake. Boeing, on the other hand, has had more orders than deliveries. Both manufacturers currently have smaller
widebody backlogs than at the start of this year but only Boeing has a larger single-aisle backlog. It is up 26 aircraft on
the start of the year while Airbus' single-aisle backlog at the end of April was 128 aircraft lower than at the start
of the year.
The Aircraft Backlog:
By the end of April just seven aircraft programs had larger backlogs than at the start of the year and the 737 MAX had the
largest gain of all, up 109 aircraft. Six of the seven programs are Boeing aircraft and the A319 was the only Airbus program
to have a gain. The 737-800A and the 767-2C both had gains of 15 aircraft, the 777F backlog was up two and the 737-700 and
737-900ER both had gains of one aircraft. The A319 backlog was up seven aircraft. Most programs had smaller backlogs at the
end of May and these included all Airbus widebody programs as well as the 747 and 787. There were some programs with no backlog
change at all and these were, for the most part, programs that have yet to start to deliver.
Order Book: While there were 246 more engines on firm order at the end of April than at the start of this
year, only two engine programs ha larger order books. The CFMLEAO order book was up 690 engines and the PW4000 order book
was up 30. The widebody engine order book dropped again in April and is now 152 engines lower than at the start of 2017. There
are more single-aisle engines on firm order (+398 since the start of the year) but that is very much a function of the LEAP
Aircraft and Engine Orders: The single-aisle aircraft order intake
by the end of April was the lowest for the Jan-April period since 2011 and the widebody aircraft order intake was the lowest
for the period since 2012. Airbus has had a very slow start to the year in terms of orders and has sold 37 single-aisles and
14 widebodies. Boeing's order intake is much larger; 193 single-aisles and 38 widebodies. The engine order intake
is slightly lower than last year but does represent a gain on Jan-April 2015. What is important about the single-aisle engine
intake this year is that it mostly involves orders for the LEAP engine (708), some for the CFM56 (286) and a few for the V2500.
The widebody engine order intake this year is actually the lowest for the first four months of a year for several years.
Deliveries and Engine Installs: By the end of April there had been one less aircraft delivery than at the
same point last year but the total of 406 so far is actually the lowest for the Jan-April period since 2013. The single-aisle
aircraft total is the lowest for the first four months of a year since 2012 but the widebody total is an improvement on last
year, although Boeing had fewer widebody deliveries and Airbus had more. The number of engine installs by
the end of April was the lowest for the Jan-April period since 2013 but the single-aisle engine total, like single-aisle aircraft,
was the lowest for the period since 2012. The widebody engine total was the lowest for Jan-April since 2013.
Click on Sample Pages to get a shortened (17-page) sample of a back issue.
Most issues have about 90 pages.