Airbus & Boeing Aircraft Sold Out

Airbus and Boeing are battling increased demand, delayed production ramp-ups and therefore, aircraft types are sold out through to the 2030s

Airbus and Boeing are battling with their internal issues. However, a more pressing matter is their availability to airline customers.

Current production rates, which, for a host of reasons such as supply chains, a global pandemic, internal company issues, and more, have been unable to increase, are having significant effects.

Leading manufacturers can now not offer airlines, in some instances, aircraft when needed because of the substantial backlogs they are working with.

As a result, significant airlines that can order aircraft well in advance are placing deals for the 2030s, knowing that if they wait any longer, the aircraft they desire won’t be available then.

While these orders in advance allow airlines to ensure they have aircraft available at this point, it puts other competitors unable to order a decade in advance and at risk of falling behind. The leasing market is open to these other airlines; however, with the growing need for more aircraft and backlogs paired with delays, the pressures are reaching a breaking point.

Airbus Sold Out

Analysts have on several occasions discussed how the impact of the Airbus A320neo family being sold out through the 2030s is significantly impacting airlines’ ability to grow and, in some cases, mitigate losses felt from 737 MAX delays.

United Airlines is moving ahead without the 737-10 as part of their fleet plan, thanks to the associated certification delays. United are looking to mitigate the losses felt by adding extra A321neo jets. However, thanks to the backlog, this makes negotiations harder than imagined.

United Airlines has said it'll acquire hundreds of fewer aircraft over the coming years as it battles with continued 737 MAX problems.

United is already forecasting a negative impact their future growth thanks to the MAX delays, however, a sold out line at Airbus means they’re stuck with these losses being felt and impacting their business.

Widebodies Feeling The Pressure

While narrowbodies are the hot commodity within the industry, there are also widebody aircraft to consider, produced on a smaller scale than narrowbodies but purchased in significant numbers following the pandemic.

Boeing’s VP of Commercial Marketing discussed sold-out aircraft lines and highlighted the lack of availability in the 787 as customers flock to reliable and efficient aircraft.

At Airbus, their A350 is facing something very similar: a small number of units can be made available towards the end of the decade, but other than that, it isn’t easy to fit new airlines in. Additionally, lessors are under pressure, too.

Airlines are being therefore forced to buy in advance which has its positives if all plays out accordingly, however, if it does not it can have substantial negative ramifications to a business. It’s a risk companies are willing to take to ensure in the 2030s they won’t have fewer aircraft to meet demand levels.

Daniel Fowkes
06 Mar 2024
· Aircraft 

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