It has been an annual pleasure since 1989: I've just picked up my new JP Fleet lists (on the observation gallery of a beautifully sunny Zurich airport).
Curiously, some 787 orders are listed but some aren't. Air New Zealand, for example, who were the first to order the Dreamliner, are shown with their 777s on order but no 787s. And Korean, who only finalised their order two weeks ago according to the Boeing website, are listed as having not only ordered the plane but as having chosen the GEnx.
As far as I'm aware, Korean haven't made any announcement yet about their engine. Indeed, they are also still pondering the offers for the A380 and announced a few weeks ago that both engine selections were still pending.
So, literally on the eve of the Paris Air Show, what can GE and RR expect out of the 787? There are lots of orders out there that have yet to announce an engine and it seems likely that many will do so this week.
For the record, RR already have ANA and ANZ and GE just First Choice. But, so early in the history of this plane, the present picture is all but meaningless.
No doubt someone will drearily exhort us to just wait and see but where's the fun in that? So who'd like to throw their chips on the table and predict which way the airlines will jump? We'll have to be quick!
NW is widely rumoured to have gone with GE and, even if JP Fleets have jumped the gun, I'd put KE in the GE camp too.
JAL? It seems hard to bet against GE there but ANA surprised quite a few by going for RR.
Icelandair? A big and seemingly satisfied operator of RR 757s.
Continental? They have GE on their 777s but they are a happy RR customer on the 757.
Ethiopian? They bought PW for their 757s instead of RR and against the prevailing sentiment in the market (where RR picked up four orders out of five).
Blue Panorama? Who knows?
Air Canada? Will GE leverage a GEnx order off the GE90s for the 777LRs?
And the Chinese? RR have scored some useful wins there recently on A330s.
The above is simply speculation for the sake of amusement. The important point is that the struggle between GE and RR on the 787 (and elsewhere) is set to be just as interesting over the coming years as anything between Airbus and Boeing.
GE and PW used to slug it out for most widebody orders with RR circling to pick up the leftovers. But those days are long gone. PW has run out of steam and the choice for airlines (where they are given one) is rapidly becoming one between RR and GE. I, for one, will be following this every bit as attentively as anything that sparks between Toulouse and Chicago.