Airbus converting ceo to neo, Boeing looking for NG sales

This is an update to an entry I wrote earlier about Airbus overbooking A320ceo slots.

Apparently Airbus now can easily convert A320ceo orders to the A320neo, as previously Airbus overbooked the remaining A320ceo slots. At the end of July 1503 orders for the A320ceo were in the backlog (3251 for the A320neo).
I expect a few more cancellations and conversions from A320ceo to A320neo:
  • Kingfisher     67 A/C
  • Alphastream 15 A/C
  • Sri Lankan      6 A/C
  • Mexicana        4 A/C
  • Croatia            4 A/C
  • Hamburg Int.  2 A/C
  • AirAsia           3 A/C (conversion to neo)
  • Wizz             10 A/C (conversion to neo)
On the other hand, there are a few more announced orders which are not yet shown in the Airbus order book:
  • Qingdao Airlines    5 A/C
  • Zhejiang Loong    11 A/C
  • Spring                   30 A/C
  • Juneyao Airlines   20 A/C
This would lead us to net reduction of 48 orders, leaving 1455 orders for the A320ceo lines. I counted 1804 on July 31, 2013, so we have a reduction of 349 aircraft in the backlog with 494 build in these 12 months, thus having 145 net orders between July 31, 2013 and July 31, 2014 including the now-in-the-orderbook A319ceo/A321ceo for AA (and including some speculation about new orders, cancellations and conversions). Not bad for an aircraft that is going to be superseeded by a version that is 15% more fuel efficient...

With the same calculation I did last year (42 aircraft per month and 11.5 months of production per year) I get 638 deliveries until the end of October 2015, when the A320neo should go into airline service, leaving 817 A320ceo in the backlog.
At the end of December 2016 the backlog would be down by another 464 aircraft (I just saw that I made a mistake here last year), leaving 353 A320ceo in the backlog.
Building another 194 A320ceo in 2017 leaves Airbus with 159 A320ceo family aircraft in the backlog in 2018, where production of the A320ceo should end.

The situation is (still) very much different at Boeing - although Boeing always states that the B737NG is sold out.
There are 1755 open orders for the B737NG production line at the end of July 2014. I do not expect any cancellations (but there could be coming more conversions from the NG to the MAX). There are a few announced but not yet finalised NG sales:
  • Xiamen      40 A/C
  • Air China   20 A/C
  • Ruili           14 A/C
  • Yakutia      12 A/C
  • Oman Air     5 A/C
This would sum up to 1846 open orders.Considering a rate of 42 aircraft per month there will be around 1500 deliveries until August 2017, which I choose as EIS for the B737MAX, leaving around 350 B737NG's in the backlog, around 280 less than Airbus will have at EIS of the A320neo. So there are still open slots for the B737NG. How many exactly is not clear, as Boeing will change to a build rate of 47 per months in 2017 and Boeing did not indicate if some of these "extra aircraft" will be NG's.

So while Airbus can now make (some) customers happy by letting them convert A320ceo's to A320neo's, Boeing has to look hard for some more B737NG customers, while Boeing did let customers convert from NG to MAX very much earlier.

As I wrote this BOC Aviation ordered 30 B737NG (along with 50 B737MAX)...


  1. Thanks for this update AeroT. I doubt that all this A320 CEO will be delivered (as well as that many B737s). the 15% difference in fuel efficiency is just huge on an airplane of this size. The next year an a half both OEM might do well with the current backlog of CEOs and NGs, but once other airlines start to realize the impact of the new A320 when placed head to head with one of its kind, something will have to give. IMHO, it will first happen to Airbus as the NEO is coming about two years earlier, but then it will move over to Boeing camp. If I was an airline receiving the current airplane from either company in tree years, I would either ask for a major discount or I will just move over to the better product.

  2. Fuel costs are certainly a big factor but that 15% may not apply to all routes. As well engine maintenance costs will increase with the neo and maxx

    1. The 15% fuel burn difference applies to cruise flight conditions. The SFC difference between the ceo and neo engines at takeoff is even larger, more like 30%, so on shorter routes the fuel burn advantage could be even higher.

  3. If that is correct (up to 30% on short trips) then is even more of a compelling choice for airlines to switch to the newer models. If I was an Airline CEO, someone would have to prove very convincingly that taking any of the A320CEO or B737NG 2 or 3 years from now will be a sound decision for my company. Of course price might have a lot to do with it, but it will have to be real good. Just imaging you flying an aircraft for 10 years while another airline is flying the same aircraft with new engines for the same 10 years and potentially a combine 20% better SFC per trip. You can sell your available seats to costumer for 15% less money and still make a little more than your competition for the same trip.

    1. The fuel burn difference will never be 30%. I only said that teh SFC difference at takeoff eill be in the range of 30%. And a part of that will be negated by the weight increase of the neo/Max aircraft.