I’m back! Happy New Year and welcome to the refreshed Randy’s Journal. As some of you know, we took a few months hiatus to re-tool the blog, giving it a new look and feel. Our goal is to provide more in-depth analysis of the commercial market. Along the way, I’ll bring in some of my colleagues to share their views on the industry and the new things we have going on here at Boeing.
To kick things off, I want to share some thoughts on Boeing’s announcement today that recapped our 2017 orders and deliveries performance. These three things really stood out to me:
• For the 6th year in a row, Boeing out-delivered the competition and set a new industry record by pushing 763 airplanes out the door.
There’s something to be said for sticking to your plan. At the start of 2017, we set a delivery target of 760 to 765 airplanes. To land in the middle of that target speaks to the dedication of our employees and supplier partners to deliver on the commitments to our customers. You’ve heard me say it before—deliveries matter. It’s the true measure of success, and we nailed it once again in 2017 at the same time we went up on 737 production rate and introduced the MAX.
• During a year of record airplane deliveries, we managed to add to our backlog.
Our net order total of 912 commercial airplanes was the 7th largest yearly order book in Boeing’s more than 100-year history. Not only was our order book big, it was deep and broad. Our sales team took in orders from 71 customers across the globe. The 737 MAX had another strong year, fueled in part by the MAX 10 launch. And anytime you can book almost 200 twin-aisle airplanes with products clearly preferred by the market, it’s a good year. The sales success we had in 2017 once again confirms our strategy to raise production rates on the 737 and 787 programs.
• 2017 showed the real strength of the market.
Prior to the Paris Air Show last summer, many people were wondering if the market was slowing down. Regardless of the final figures from Airbus next week, 2017 shaped up to be a better year than anyone could have predicted. The launch of the 737 MAX 10 in Paris added to our portfolio of products and beefed up our order base. And with passenger traffic growing faster than anticipated and at above long-term trend, the industry really showed its strength.
As we look ahead to 2018, we and IATA expect to once again see passenger traffic grow above historic trend. The airlines continue to be profitable, making more money over the past three years than the previous 30 years combined.
And we have a lot to be excited about here at Boeing. All of our development programs are on schedule or ahead of schedule. Soon, we’ll be rolling out the first 737 MAX 7 test airplane – and delivering the first MAX 9 and 787-10.
We want to make this an engaging blog, but we need your help. Comment, share and sign up for our email list. I look forward to bringing you more insight throughout the year. Thanks for checking out the new site and stay tuned.
See press release here.