Growing trade tensions, slowing growth in China and long order backlogs made 2018 a difficult year for aircraft manufacturers in terms of winning new commercial aircraft orders. But, for two of the most renowned aircraft manufacturers - Boeing and Airbus - 2018 was another year of commendable performance.
One change set to take place in 2018, however, is that Boeing is all set to overtake Airbus in terms of total annual new aircraft orders for the first time since 2013. Between 2013 and 2017, Airbus captured more aircraft orders than its American rival in each year.
Although the final orders total for 2018 is to be published in the next couple of weeks, it seems that Boeing has taken a lead over its rival in the first 11 months of 2018 with 690 net firm orders. And it's highly unlikely that Airbus, which has captured 380 net firm orders in the same time period, will be able to muster another December surprise just like 2017.
Furthermore, with Boeing’s two late December noteworthy aircraft orders from Nigeria-based airline start-up Green Africa Airways and Saudi Arabia's Flyadeal, the chances of Airbus making a comeback have become even more difficult. And would need a mammoth December performance to match its planned full-year delivery total of approximately 800 aircraft.
Additionally, Boeing is all set to achieve a book-to-bill ratio of at least 1.0, indicating that new orders would at least match the number of aircraft deliveries for the full year. Boeing also achieved a more diverse mix of orders through November, wherein higher-value widebody aircraft accounted for ~ 28% of its net firm orders compared to Airbus’s just 21%.