Every January there is a press conference in Toulouse where John Leahy presents the order and delivery figures for the past year. And every year he has some surprise orders which came in in December. Two years ago, for example, Richard Branson took center stage in the press conference when the first order for the A320neo for 30 aircraft where
announced. A few weeks ago the delivery of these aircraft where deferred to 2020-2022.
Now – could it be that the press conference in January will be used by John Leahy that he now has (more than) 2,000 orders and commitments for the Neo? There were 1,579 firm orders at the end of November. Then take the commitments from American Airlines (130 A/C), Avolon (15 A/C) and Middle East Airlines (10 A/C) and you are at 1,734. Pegasus will, according to Turkish press articles, order 70 aircraft tomorrow and you are at 1,804 (and I heard that an important factor in favor of Airbus were some free early slots vacated by Virgin America). The rumored order from Lion Air for 100 A/C would take the overall number to 1904 (By the ways, will Rusdi Kirana be the star guest at the January press conference 2013? And if yes, what will Tony Fernandes think of that?)
What about the last 100? Easyjet said they will only decide in 2013, so I don’t think they will appear in the 2012 orderbook. I would think of China being a good guess. So far only ICBC ordered 20 A320neo. Another possible late 2012 order could come from Vueling.
So when Boeing might have reached their goal of 1000 firm orders for the B737MAX Airbus might have 1,000 orders and commitments more. But don’t underestimate Boeing’s selling power – they might also have many more commitments. The last number they publicly stated was more than 1,200 and with a market for 15,000 narrowbodies in the next 20 years this is only the first round in a marathon run.