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Boeing's last balance sheet for 2016 was 668 net orders, exactly 100 fewer jets than in the year before. Kevin McAlister, the new CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, also announced the company's success in reaching a number of key targets during the year in a Friday employee outreach. For 2016, the net value of Boeing's orders at retail price totaled $94 billion.
As turnover falls short of shipments, Boeing's order book falls by 80 for the first year in seven years. The Airbus order and shipment numbers will not be released until next weekend, but by the end of November more than 100 jets less than Boeing's had been delivered, making it clearly unable to compete with the US aircraft manufacturer's production.
This year Airbus has been struggling to deliver on schedule, with problems with the delivery of Pratt & Whitney aircraft for its new A320neo jets, as well as seat and other internal parts bottlenecks. Among the aircraft that Boeing supplied last year, 490 were the smaller 737 Narrowbody-Jets, which were mounted in Renton.
From the 258 large jets Boeing produced, the Everett factory produced 197, among them 99 large 777 twin-jet jets, 13 medium-sized 767 jets and 76 fully composited 787 Dreamliner jets. Slightly lower total output than in 2015 is mainly due to the reduction in rates in the 747 jump-jet programme. In 2016, Boeing supplied only nine 747s, exactly half of the year before.
Boeing's North Charleston, S.C. facility assembled 61 Dreamliner, according to Uresh Sheth, who follows 787 in the All Things 787 series. This means that the South Carolina site is operating at its full scheduled rates, with five 787s per month on Everetts seven per months, equivalent to a present overall number of 12 dream liners per months.
The Boeing had said that it was considering driving up to 14 Dreamliner a months towards the end of the century, with seven jets being produced on each site, but the shortage of new jets makes this now unlikely. In fact, several economic experts, among them Bainbridge-based industrial analyst Scott Hamilton, believe that Boeing may need to lower its output to 10 Dreamliner per capita.
When that happens, Boeing will probably offset manufacturing with five jets manufactured at each site - which means that North Charleston will maintain its present rates, while Everett will lose two jets a months. Prospects for 2017 are bleak for Everett and also for planned revenues. This year Boeing will reduce 777 output at Everett in reaction to sluggish demand for the latest 777X prior to its release.
The company will be delivering almost 30 fewer of the large, costly jets than in the previous year. On the other hand, Renton should see more work, with a scheduled increase in the rates of 737 to 47 jets per months from currently 42 per months. Nevertheless, there will be important landmarks for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in the coming year.