Due to never-ending 737 Max issues, plane orders at Airbus have soared while Boeing Orders Fall to 16-Year Low.

Quick Comparison Facts

  1. Boeing New Orders: 246 new orders for commercial jets of all types before cancellations and model swaps is the lowest tally since 2003.
  2. Airbus New Orders: 1,131 new orders last year for a net total of 768 counting cancellations.
  3. Boeing Deliveries: 380 aircraft, including military versions of its jetliners, a 14-year-low that compares.
  4. Airbus Deliveries: Airbus had 863 deliveries, a record high.
  5. Boeing Backlog: 4,500.
  6. Airbus Backlog: The A320, Airbus’s rival to the Boeing 737 family, is currently sold out until late 2024.
  7. Airbus new orders were boosted by the launch of a A320 variant that boasts more range. The bigger A321 XLR has been eating into the potential market that Boeing envisions for its first all-new aircraft model in a decade.
  8. American Airlines Group Inc. said Tuesday that it would remove the MAX from its schedules until June, two months longer than previously planned.

Layoffs Tensions Spread

The 737 Max woes are starting to impact Boeing suppliers like Spirit AeroSystems. A couple weeks ago, Spirit announced it would shift its workforce around to work Airbus production.

On January 10, Spirit AeroSystems announced a 2,800 Worker Lay Off.

The biggest Boeing Co. 737 MAX supplier said it is planning an initial 2,800 layoffs, the first announced job cuts since the grounding of a plane that is rippling through the broader aerospace industry.

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. makes the fuselage and engine parts for the MAX and had been producing enough for 52 jets a month before Boeing said it would freeze assembling the planes in January for a “temporary” time.

Spirit Chief Executive Tom Gentile said the decision was a “necessary step” given the uncertainty with MAX production. The company said it could have to cut more workers.

Internal Comments Released

Also on January 10, Boeing Released Internal Documents showing some employees mocking the aircraft and other bragging about tricking the FAA into certification.

  • "Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t"
  • “This airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
  • Mark Forkner, then chief technical pilot for the 737 MAX, in the messages released earlier described “Jedi mind tricking” regulators and said he had unknowingly lied to the FAA. Mr. Forkner’s name was redacted from the messages, but his title, 737 chief technical pilot, wasn’t.

Trump Will Suck Airbus Into the Crisis at Boeing

Also recall the opinion of Leeham regarding a tariff spillover: Trump Will Suck Airbus Into the Crisis at Boeing.

"Airbus is almost certain to become a target for higher tariffs. I won’t rule out adding the Mobile (AL) final assembly line to sanctions despite Alabama being the No. 1 supporter of Trump. There is no way Alabama will vote for a Democratic challenger to Trump; it’s a completely safe state," commented analysts at Leeham.

Meanwhile, Airbus to Expand in UK After Brexit

Manufacturing Already Weak

The latest ISM report was a disaster: Manufacturing ISM Down 5th Month to Lowest Since June 2009

Following the GM strike there was a job recovery that lasted precisely one month: Manufacturing One Hit Wonder is Over, Jobs Up a Modest 145,000 in December. Manufacturing jobs unexpectedly declined by 12,000.

Expect another 2,800 or so layoffs from Spirit.

Tomorrow, Trump and China to Sign Trade War Ceasefire, but that will not restore any jobs.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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