Aerospace & Defense

Boeing's 10 Largest Customers

The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) currently expects to deliver about 745 to 750 commercial aircraft to its customers this year. Through the end of October the company had delivered 617 planes.

In October Boeing delivered 54 new commercial jets. If it can maintain that pace — or something near it — the company should easily meet its sales target. The bad news is that orders for the first 10 months of the year total just 457. Ideally, Boeing would like a 1-to-1 book-to-bill ratio, but in late September the company said it is angling for 535 new orders in 2016. Even that total may be out of reach given the recent vote in the U.S. House of Representatives killing the company’s opportunity to sell planes to Iran.

Of the 617 planes delivered so far this year 402 have been the stalwart 737. The company has delivered 117 models of the 787 Dreamliner and 80 of the 777 series. It has delivered 10 of its 767 planes so far this year, all to FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX). It has also shipped eight of the venerable 747 jumbo jets.

Boeing’s order backlog as of October 31 totaled 5,635 aircraft, including 4,321 single-aisle 737s; 29 jumbo 747s, of which 20 are freighters; 96 dual-aisle 767s; and 728 Dreamliners.

For the first 10 months of the year, here are the 10 Boeing customers who received the most new planes:

  1. Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ: RYAAY): 49 planes, all 737s
  2. Southwest Airlines Corp. (NYSE: LUV): 27 planes, all 737s
  3. Turkish Airlines: 26 planes, 20 737s and 6 777s
  4. American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL): 25 planes, 16 737s, 2 777s, and 7 787s
  5. China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CEA): 24 planes, 17 737s and 7 777s
  6. Air Lease Corp. (NYSE: AL): 22 planes, 15 737s, 5 777s, and 2 787s
  7. GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS): 21 planes, 17 737s and 4 777s
  8. Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK): 18 planes, all 737s
  9. Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL): 16 planes, all 737s
  10. Norwegian, Air China, United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL): 15 deliveries each

The U.S. Navy also received 16 767s this year. These are being adapted for the KC-46A tanker fleet.

Of the 228 new airplanes delivered to Boeing’s top commercial customers, 195 (86%) were 737s. Of Boeing’s total backlog, about 77% are 737s.

Another way of looking at Boeing’s top customers is to see which have the most orders in the aircraft maker’s backlog. Here are the 10 customers with the most orders waiting to be filled:

  1. Southwest: 229 planes, all 737s
  2. Lion Air: 214 planes, all 737s
  3. Ryanair: 205 planes, all 737s
  4. Emirates: 178 planes, 28 777-300ERs and 150 777Xs
  5. Air Lease Corp.: 176 planes, 118 737 MAXs, 11 737-800s, 3 777-300ERs, 30 787-10s and 14 787-9s
  6. United Airlines: 173 planes, 99 737 MAXs, 37 737-700s, 4 737-800s, 14 777s, and 19 787s
  7. Norwegian: 148 planes, 108 737 MAXs, 21 737-800s, and 19 787-9s
  8. American Airlines: 146 planes, 100 737 MAXs, 24 737-800s, and 22 787s
  9. GECAS: 133 planes, 95 737 MAXs, 16 737-800s, 2 777-300ERs, 10 787-10s
  10. Qatar Airways: 105 planes, 10 777-300ERs, 5 777Fs, 60 777Xs, and 30 787-9s

United Airlines last week shifted an order for 65 of Boeing’s 737s, switching four that are scheduled for delivery next year from 737-700s to 737-800s, and deferring the delivery of the other 61, which are a mix of 737-700s and 737 MAXs. This was interpreted as bad news for Boeing, but it was actually pretty good, as we discussed on Friday.

One last list: the airlines that have flown the most Boeing planes in the 100-year history of the aircraft maker. According to Boeing’s bookkeeping, and including McDonnell Douglas (MD) aircraft, the company’s best customers over the years have been:

  1. United Airlines: 1,550 Boeing and MD aircraft; first delivery in 1959
  2. American Airlines: 1,207 Boeing and MD aircraft; first delivery in 1958
  3. Delta: 1,172 Boeing and MD aircraft, including 286 from Northwest; first delivery in 1959
  4. International Lease Finance Corp.: 763 Boeing and MD aircraft; first delivery in 1978
  5. Southwest: 712 Boeing 737s; first delivery in 1971
  6. GECAS: 522 Boeing aircraft; first delivery 1995
  7. Ryanair: 426 Boeing 737s; first delivery in 1999
  8. Japan Air Lines: 374 Boeing and MD aircraft; first delivery in 1960
  9. All Nippon Airways: 364 Boeing aircraft; first delivery in 1964
  10. Eastern Airlines: 342 Boeing and MD aircraft; first delivery in 1960
  11. British Airways: 341 Boeing aircraft; first delivery in 1965
  12. Lufthansa: 322 Boeing and MD aircraft; first delivery 1960

Boeing has delivered a total of 21,318 commercial airplanes to its customers, beginning with just 8 in 1958. In 2015 the company delivered 762 new planes, the most in its history.

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