|Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):|
I also find it interesting that Airbus did not include the AA A320 order in their numbers because they are waiting to see if the contract is still valid after the bankruptcy.
Maybe they choose to do that, because that way they got the absolute record anyway but still have some stuff to book in 2012 to reduce the contrast between the NEO's first year (where we can assume that the bulk of pre-EIS orders happened) and it's second year.
Airbus warns that in 2012 they could even fall behind Boeing in total orders, well knowing that it will be the year of the 737MAX (as the 737MAX will have the initial order ramp up). IMO it will be very interesting to see how much the A320NEO sales will slow down and how much firm 737MAX orders will be booked.
Anyway, 2011 was the year of the A320NEO. It has created the largest market share lead of Airbus ever. Of course the market will swing back and Boeing will achieve more even results again. What we can say, is that mostly such market ruptures happen when new products are launched and the vendors commit themselves to specific strategies. The hesitance of Boeing to follow Airbus resolutely on the the re-engine path, meant that hundreds of NB
-orders have been awarded to Airbus, that were virtually unchallenged. I don't believe that all the early NEO-buyers would not have seriously considered the 737MAX if it would have been available (like SWA was tempted by the A320NEO as well).
Airbus won significant A320NEO orders at a time when there was no competition. But each and every 737MAX sale will happen in a time when the buyer will have a real choice. If even SWA looked at the A320NEO very carefully, we can assume that the end result would not always turn out as pleasing for Boeing as it did in case of SWA. IMO 737 prices will come under pressure. The same will happen about the 737MAX's medium term market share.
If in 2012 the 737MAX will not make up fully for the losses of 2011 the shared market IMO will be gone. The first full year during which an aircraft has the authority to be sold IMO should give a good impression about the final verdict of the market. And here Boeing has even an advantage because they had a much longer leadtime before their first full year of marketing the 737MAX has started. Boeing had half a year to institutionalize the MAX program and should be in a better position to bring in the harvest in the form of masses of firm 737MAX orders than Airbus was. Remember Airbus had only one month preparation before the accountable phase (for the first full year of marketing) started. You may think this is bean counting, but there is a huge difference whether there is 1 or 6 months to conduct talks with interested customers and clarify terms and conditions. The 737MAX commitements should be in a far more mature state than the talks Airbus had with their customers a year ago. And despite that the A320NEO achieved this phenomenal success. So the 737MAX should pick up piles of orders and make up for the dent in 2011 (relative to it's competitor), otherwise I can't see under what conditions it could correct the imbalance that was created in 2011 ever again. The expected 737MAX hype may only take a hit because Boeing seems not to be in a hurry to define it fully before 2013 (IIRC).
When will the next sales record be due? For the time being I can't see new such records again. Mostly because the product strategy is settled for many years to come for both Boeing and Airbus. Now airlines know what will be available in the next 10 years (with the small exception of the 777X). The next absolute sales record I expect when Boeing and/or Airbus will launch a new NG