Thursday, February 4, 2016

787 firing order gives clues to unidentified customers

With the latest update to the 787 firing order we're able to have some clarity on some unidentified customers.  This is my own analysis based on the information that I have in hand.

What is notable is the number of 787-9s that is on the firing order for United Airlines.  To date, UAL has announced a total 787-9 commitment of 18 787-9. 14 have been delivered with 5, not 4, but five more 787-9s yet to be delivered.  There can be one of three explanations for this apparent discrepancy: 1) UAL has converted existing options into firm orders but has not been announced, 2) UAL has converted 2 existing orders for the 787-10 into the 787-9 which has not been announced or 3) UAL is one of the unidentified customers who has ordered 2 787-9.  I am leaning towards number 3.

More revelations from the firing order: There appears to be a direct purchase of at least 1 787-9 from Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight.  Here it could only be that this order is currently listed as an unidentified customer for 2 787-9s.

Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight isn't the only Middle Eastern order for an executive 787-9.  It appears that the House of Saud has bought a 787-9BBJ to join the two 787-8BBJs already in their fleet.  The Saudi Ministry of Finance will be taking a 787-9BBJ sometime next year and it appears that this is the only -9BBJ that they will buy for now.

787 Full Production Table

Sunday, January 31, 2016

787 recap for January 2016

Coming out of the 2015 Holiday Season, Boeing is getting production of the 787 back on pace as they rolled out 11 Dreamliners and started final assembly on 11 more.  Unofficially Boeing delivered 7 aircraft including 2 787-9 to Saudi Arabian Airlines out of 4 that they will take ownership of this year.  Boeing may have delivered an 8th 787 to Virgin Atlantic Airlines but I'm still waiting for confirmation of the handover.

Because of the slow start to 2016 787 deliveries, the production efficiency numbers are quite high especially for Charleston which had delivered only 2 787s while rolling 6 out of final assembly (a production efficiency of 3).  Everett fared a little bit better as they delivered 5 aircraft while rolling out another 5 for an efficiency of 1.

Overall, with the 7 deliveries and 11 roll outs, the 787 production efficiency is at 1.57 which not desirable whereas a number under 1 points to a a highly efficient production system.

I expect Boeing to be back on track in February with higher delivery numbers and better efficiency as they shrug off the Holiday usual slowdown.  Right now Boeing is projected to deliver 14 787s which should put them back on track for 139 deliveries this year.  Through the end of January, Boeing has delivered 370 787s since the start of program deliveries.

Overall 787 production improved to a great extent that the company reported that 787-8 production cost dropped 40% over the last 240 deliveries while 787-9 production cost dropped 30% over 74 deliveries made through December 2015.  Importantly the program is now cash positive which will go a long way in reducing the accumulated deferred production cost which stands at $28.5 billion. Boeing expects to realize a decline in this number soon after they break rate to 12/month which I expect to happen around March.  The delivery rate of 12/month should happen during the second quarter...I'm projecting May for the increase in delivery rate.

Many of Boeing's suppliers have already increased their rate to support the 12/month production target but don't expect to see a huge increase in rate as Boeing has said that the total number of deliveries won't be much higher than what was delivered in 2015.  Again I'm projecting 139 787 deliveries which include several early build 787s.

For February, Boeing already has flown 7 787s that are planned for delivery and another 7 are waiting to fly though a few should have their B-1 flights early in the month.  Several carriers will be taking double deliveries including American Airlines and Qatar Airways for 2 x 787-8 while United Airlines, British Airways and Air Canada should take 2 x 787-9 each in the month as well.  Norwegian Air will take delivery of it's first 787-9 on lease from AerCap.

787 Full Production Table