2018 Forecast

Features - Cover Story

Despite record deliveries in 2017, the commercial aircraft backlog still exceeds 13,500 planes.

February 7, 2018

Airbus delivered a new company record of 718 aircraft to 85 customers in 2017, its 15th consecutive year of growth. Deliveries were more than 4% higher than the previous record – 688 – in 2016. The 2017 total comprises: 558 A320 family (181 were A320neo – an increase of 166% from 2016); 67 A330s; 78 A350 XWBs (up by nearly 60% from 2016); and 15 A380s. Airbus booked 1,109 net orders from 44 customers. At the end of 2017, Airbus’ overall backlog stood at 7,265 aircraft valued at $1.059 trillion at list prices.

Airbus is on track to achieve a 60-per-month build rate on the A320 family by mid-2019 and 10 per month for the A350 XWB by the end of 2018.

Airbus family formation flight

Embraer delivered 210 jets in 2017: 101 commercial aircraft and 109 executive jets (72 light and 37 large), meeting the year’s delivery outlook of 97 to 102 commercial jets, 70 to 80 light business jets, and 35 to 45 large business jets. At the end of 2017, the firm order backlog was valued at $18.3 billion.

Year-end results for Bombardier were not available at press time, but in its Q3 report, the company expected to reach deliveries of 50 regional jets and turboprops and approximately 135 business jets in 2017. Order backlog stood at 433 commercial aircraft and $14.5 billion worth of business aircraft as of Sept. 30, 2017. 

Boeing delivered 763 aircraft in 2017 – more commercial airplanes than any manufacturer for the sixth consecutive year – driven by output of 737 and 787 jets. The company grew its backlog with 71 customers placing 912 net orders valued at $134.8 billion at list prices. The total extends Boeing’s backlog to a record 5,864 airplanes at the end of 2017, equal to about seven years of production.

Boeing raised production on the 737 program to 47 airplanes a month during the year, delivering 529, including 74 of the new 737 MAX. On the 787 Dreamliner program, Boeing continued building at the highest production rate for a twin-aisle jet, leading to 136 deliveries for the year.

At the 2017 Paris Air Show, United Airlines converted 100 737 MAX orders into 737 MAX 10s, becoming the largest 737 MAX 10 customer.
Embraer’s next-generation E190-E2 narrow-body jet.
Bombardier’s CS300 in AirBaltic colors at Dubai, October 2017.

About the author: Eric Brothers, AM&D’s senior editor, can be reached at 216.393.0228 or ebrothers@gie.net.