Sunday, September 25, 2016

787 has found favor amongst Chinese carriers after early bumps

As Boeing was ramping up the 787 (7E7) program early in the last decade, one of the prized target market was China. In January 2005 Boeing landed  a large order for 60 787s to be split amongst 6 Chinese carriers.  This was a coup for the 787 program and gave the young program a huge leg up on the competition.

However, as the 787 delays mounted, there were the inevitable cancellations including a large one of 24 airplanes by China Eastern Airlines of 24 787s in 2011 and a conversion of 3 787-8 by Xiamen Airlines into an order for the 737.

2005 Orders:

Air China - 15 787-9
China Eastern Airlines -15 787-8**
China Southern Airlines - 10 787-8
Hainan Airlines - 8 787-8
Shanghai Airlines - 9 787-8**
Xiamen Airlines - 3 787-8*

Total of 60 787s

* Cancelled on June, 2006
** Cancelled on October, 2011 (Shanghai is partly owned by China Eastern Airlines)

As the 787 program slowly got back on track the Chinese carriers had renewed interest in the Dreamliner. Hainan Airlines led the resurgent Chinese interest in 787 by ordering 30 787-9 plus taking additional -9 on lease from Air Lease Corp and AerCap. Xiaman re-ordered the 787-8 and added the 787-9 which will start deliveries later this year.  China Eastern also re-ordered the 15 787 they cancelled earlier this time taking the 787-9.  Riuli Airlines, a smaller carrier just signed on for 6 787-9.  All told, the Chinese 787 order book is now 98 direct purchased Dreamliner plus a number of additional 787s that will be taken up from lessors.  After deliveries are all said and done, Chinese carriers could account for at least 10% of the total 787 order book which currently stands at 1,161

2016 Orders

Air China - 15 787-9 (6 delivered)
China Eastern Airlines -15 787-9***
China Southern Airlines - 10 787-8 (10 delivered)
Hainan Airlines - 10 787-8 (10 delivered); 30 787-9 (4 delivered)
Ruili Airlines - 6 787-9
Xiamen Airlines - 6 787-8 (6 delivered)****; 6 787-9

***China Eastern re-ordered the 15 787 this time taking the 787-9
****Xiamen re-ordered 6 787-8 in May 2011 and finalized the order in August 2013

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Boeing looking to meet 3rd quarter 787 delivery target

Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett164
To be assembled in Charleston116
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly10
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work4
Pre-Flight Prep10
Production Testing3
Non Customer Flight Tests1
Ready for Delivery5

A little more than mid way through September Boeing has already delivered 8 Dreamliners including another early build aircraft to Ethiopian and 7 787-9s.  There are a further 4 787s that have completed their customer flights and should be delivered over the next week.  A thirteenth 787, an early build aircraft for Air Austral (LN 15, ZD001, F-OLRB) is still undergoing painting in Victorville, Ca. and was tentatively scheduled to be delivered at the end of the this month but I have no further information as of yet to it's final delivery date.  It may deliver in October.

If Boeing delivers the 4 airplanes that are ready for delivery, they would have made 12 787 deliveries in September, 36 for 3Q2016 and 104 for 2016 (they're at 100 total deliveries as of today, September 21, 2016).  Total deliveries are now at 463 and should achieve at least 467 by the end of the month.  That would leave 33 deliveries needed to reach 500 program deliveries, which is an average of 11 per month during the 4Q2016.  Boeing has tentatively scheduled 12 deliveries in October (13 is LN 15 is to be delivered in October and not September), 12 in November (including one early build 787-8) and 10 in December. That would imply 502 total deliveries by the end of 2016.

Boeing is already getting a a jump on flight testing for October deliveries.  They have already flown 5 airplanes that are to be delivered next month and are to conduct 6 more B-1 flights by the end of the month and one more in early October.

787 Full Production Table

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Boeing posts higher than expected 787 deliveries for August; Roll Royce engine issues a concern

Testing Complete3
To be assembled in Everett168
To be assembled in Charleston118
Parts Arriving6
Undergoing final assembly10
Storage/Change Incorporation and Re-Work0
Change Incorporation and Re-Work5
Pre-Flight Prep7
Production Testing7
Non Customer Flight Tests1
Ready for Delivery4

Boeing beat my delivery expectations for the 787 in August by delivering 10 aircraft (four -8s and six -9s).  Given the usual summer slow down, this was a pleasant surprise.  To date there are now 455 787s in customer hands through the end of August (313 787-8 and 142 787-9).  For the year, Boeing has delivered 92 787s (24 787-8 and 68 787-9).  Notable deliveries in August is the first 787-8 (out of an order for 2) for Uzbekistan Airways and ZB368 (LN 396, G-ZBKG) a 787-9 that was delayed a number of months due to issues with seat maker Zodiac.

Production slowed in August which I believe was planned. Still Boeing started final assembly on 9 787s and rolled out another 9.  With the 10 deliveries the efficiency ratio was a decent 0.90.  Everett delivered 6 787s while rolling out 5 giving it an efficiency ratio of 0.71.  Charleston was efficiency ratio was not as good as it rolled out 4 while delivering only 3 aircraft.  That put the efficiency ratio at 1.33.

Boeing needs to deliver, on average, 11.25 787s per month over the next 4 months to reach 500 deliveries.  If they are able to do that, it is an accomplishment that took 5.25 years to achieve when program deliveries began in September 2011.  Boeing is also getting close to starting final assembly on the first 787-10.  In order to prepare for that, the company conducted work on the Charleston final assembly line in order to accommodate the largest member of the 787.  When the time comes to start final assembly of ZC001, Boeing will essentially have an empty building in 88-30 so that -10 activities doesn't not negatively impact production of the 787-8 and 787-9.  Everett will take up the production of those models while Charleston is building the three 787-10 test flight aircraft.

I anticipate that Boeing will resume the normal production schedule in September though I think that 787 production in Charleston will slow in the coming months as they prepare to introduce the 787-10 into the production system.  There will be a number of changes to the Charleston line in order to support -10 final assembly.

I am projecting that Boeing will deliver 13 787s in September.  Already 1 has been delivered and 9 more of these aircraft have had their B-1 flight. Of those nine, five have had their C-1 flight.  Notable deliveries should include two early build 787-8s for Ethiopian (ZD005, LN 13, ET-ATJ) and Air Austral (ZD001, LN 15, F-OLRB).  American Airlines will also get its first 787-9 this month as well (ZB446, LN 466, N820AL).

Switching gears, ANA announced that they are finding corrosion issues with the fan blades of the Trent 1000 engines on their Dreamliners prompting them to say that they are going to be replacing all 100 engines (or fan blades) that power their 787 fleet which is 51 strong after today's delivery.  It is unclear at this point if other operators of the Trent 1000 are affected but given the absence of of news from Trent users other than ANA (so far) it seems that this problem is contained to ANA and the way they operate their 787s. However given that ANA was the first adopter of the Trent-1000 there may be more incidence of fan blade corrosion that will be revealed over time by other airlines.  The issue hasn't stopped Boeing And Rolls Royce from building, flying and delivering Trent powered 787s for now.  Rolls Royce is undoubtedly working on a fix but how long it would take to develop test, certify and mass produce the fix is unknown.

787 Full Production Table