Boeing wins 2007 orders, but managing production the main game
Both Airbus and Boeing expect a return to more “normal” order patterns in 2008, although Airbus’ head of sales, John Leahy, is still upbeat. He stated that cycles in the aviation industry “used to be peaks and…canyons or big troughs - now it looks like we are getting more hills and valleys”.
But Leahy added, “it doesn't matter who is first [in annual sales] - the main question is, how do we manage the backlog?"
But as reported in yesterday’s Asia Pacific Airline Daily, the 787 delays (like the A380 before it) could have a silver lining for some airlines, particularly if there is a downturn in global aviation markets.
Geoff Dixon stated the Qantas Group has a range of options to cope with the extra 787 delays, including revised retirement dates for some aircraft, re-allocating existing capacity and potential schedule adjustments. Crucially, there would be “no effect on the Qantas Group’s overall growth strategy and no impact on Qantas Group earnings”, according to Mr Dixon.
Both manufacturers continue to ramp up production, with output set to be around 500 units each for the next few years. But winning credibility back from customers this year will be crucial.