Widebody Order Gap Update - B777 and A330

Leeham News and Comment has a story today that both Jet Airways and Kenya Airways want to get rid of their B777-300ER. Jet Airways has ten of the type while Kenya Airways has three. Scott Hamilton notes that this could build up to the pressure for Boeing to sell the last B777-300ER until the B777X will go into service in late 2019 the earliest. So let us have a look how many B777-300ER (and B777F) Boeing needs to sell to bridge production without any cut. Also, have a look how Airbus

is doing with the A330/A330neo.
The current backlog of the B777-300ER/B777F stands at 270 at the end of April.
With a constant production rate of 8.33 aircraft a month (100 per year), Boeing needs to sell almost 200 more aircraft of the current B777 until the first B777X  could come to the market to keep production constant until then. How many more Boeing has to sell depends on how fast the new B777X can be brought to the same production rates. I have some information now that points to a very smooth production ramp-up and based on that I see that Boeing would need to sell another 200 B777-300ER/B777F to keep production rates steady.

Over at Airbus the backlog for the A330ceo product line is at 145 units. Some 45 more A330-300/-200/-200F need to be sold to keep production steady at the 6/month that will kick in this year. I also have some information here that points to a rather quick transformation from the A330ceo to the A330neo so that within little more than a year the A330neo will take over the full production. So all in all Airbus would have to sell about 80 A330ceo’s to keep production steady at 6/month.

But us not forget the “dead and risk customers” I pointed to in an earlier post. There are 15 A330’s in the books for Kingfisher that need to be “resold”. Also I would not fully count on Garuda taking their 13 A330. AirAsiaX has now 12 A330-300 left in the order book and they are not really earning money yet. Also Jet Airways has 5 A330-200. Of course they are easier to fill than their B777-300ER but will they take them? So there are significant risks in the A330 order book that Airbus needs to care for (and Leahy should look out for more customers…).


  1. Check your title, the A300 production was stopped some time ago...