No looking back

The way we ended 2011 with such strong orders, it’s really no surprise to see just how well the company did in the fourth-quarter. The numbers released today show that earnings per share rose to $1.84 on revenue of $19.6 billion thanks in large part to commercial airplane deliveries. For the full year 2011, earnings per share increased 20 percent to $5.34 on record revenue of $68.7 billion.

On the commercial side, we have a record backlog of 3,771 airplanes worth $296 billion, which equates to six years of production at current rates. BCA revenue also increased by 14 percent for the full year.

But what I’m most excited about is where we’re going in 2012. On the commercial side, today’s guidance shows that deliveries are expected to be between 585 and 600 airplanes. 70 to 85 of those deliveries are expected to be 787 and 747-8s, of which approximately half are 787s.

And our prediction of 2012 being the Year of the 737 MAX continues to look solid. Earlier today, Norwegian announced a firm order for 100 737 MAX airplanes and 22 Next-Generation 737-800s. It’s the largest-ever Boeing order from a European airline.


A 737 MAX in Norwegian livery.

This will be a very defining year for Boeing as we continue our production rate increases and work to put our airplanes into the hands of our customers. And while there’s no looking back, I do want to share some of the highlights from fourth-quarter 2011 that helped us end the year on a great note and provided the momentum for a strong start to 2012.


The agreement with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers ensured the new 737 MAX will be built in Renton. By year’s end, the MAX had more than 1,000 orders and commitments from 15 customers. In the fourth quarter, the team started to produce the first Next-Generation 737 at a rate of 35 per month, the highest ever. The program booked 551 net orders and delivered 372 airplanes in 2011.


In October, launch customer Cargolux took delivery of its first 747-8 Freighter. The program delivered nine of the jumbo freighters in 2011. The airplane’s performance has been exceptional with a dispatch reliability rate approaching 97 percent. The 747-8 Intercontinental is on track for a delivery early this year to the first VIP customer and to airline launch customer Lufthansa.


Boeing remains on plan to deliver the first 18 combat-ready tankers by 2017. In the fourth quarter, FedEx Express ordered 27 767-300 Freighters, pushing total orders for the freighter to 111. By year’s end, the program had delivered 20 airplanes to five customers and received 42 orders - a mix of tankers, passenger airplanes and freighters.


The 777 won an unprecedented 200 net orders in 2011, breaking the record of 154 orders set in 2005. In November, Emirates ordered 50 777-300ERs worth $18 billion, one of the largest orders by dollar value ever. The 777 production rate rose to seven per month for the first time since May 2010. In November Boeing began assembly of its 1,000th 777, scheduled for delivery to Emirates this March. In December the FAA approved 330-minute ETOPS for the GE-powered 777 fleet. During the fourth quarter, the program delivered its 50th 777 Freighter (to FedEx Express) and its 300th 777-300ER (to Biman Bangladesh Airlines).


The fourth quarter saw ANA put its first 787 into revenue service and the airline took delivery of two more Dreamliners. ZA001, the first Dreamliner, flew to New Zealand and Australia— and the 787 began an around-the-world Dream Tour. In December the Dreamliner set world records for speed and distance.

Commercial Aviation Services

The Boeing China Service Center, which provides maintenance and engineering support to China’s growing commercial aviation industry, opened in Beijing in October. In November, CAS signed its 50th customer for Airplane Health Management, a software system that gives airlines real-time, predictive maintenance information. In December, Boeing announced its 50th order for a 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter.

Comments (7)

Tom (Norway):

Any chance you may appear in Norway with the Dreamliner to mark this all time high european order?!

Fred (Singapore):

Randy - congrats and great news on the Norwegian order. Unfortunately, the usual Airbus aficionados on various sites are already touting this as a symbolically greater victory for Airbus, because they have gained yet another previously all-Boeing customer.
Is Boeing going to go "on the offensive" and target all-Airbus operators with the MAX? Doing so and succeeding would be a great demonstration of the MAX's competitiveness!

Daniel K (Sydney, Australia):

Hi Randy,

Awesome recap of what has been an amazing year for Boeing. Being an avid Boeing fan, really looking forward to 2012 and believing 2012 will be the year Boeing out delivers the competition.

Martin Fitzgerald (Dublin,IRELAND):

Hello Randy

Many Thanks again for bringing the 787 Dreamliner to Dublin, Ireland.

A special thanks to you and your colleagues for allowing me and my colleagues in Aer Lingus on to view the aircraft last Wednesday night on it's arrival in Hangar 6 in Dublin,

Really enjoyed it!

Best Regards,

Martin Fitzgerald
Aer Lingus Operations - Hangar 6
Dublin Airport
Co Dublin - IRELAND

Andrew Boydston (Boise, ID (USA)):

Deliveries of 585 to 600 Aircraft is exciting. From the front door, (sales) to the back door (Deliveries) of Boeing product. Where services and performance exercised throughout, as Boeing commonalities, Airlines depend on these keys in the estimation of its own success. Even though these sentiments are geared towards those that believe and read your notes on this page, the bottom line is always about being the best not the most. For me, that is what 600 Boeing aircraft delivered represents.

TroyK (SD):

another loyal narrow body boeing customer has ordered airbus. ugh...this makes me nervous! i have this distinct feeling that the neo over the next decade will be the clear sales winner over the max. boeing...please get to work on an all new narrow body soon!

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

Not a bad deal from Norwegian on the huge 737 MAX orders Boeing does very well in the European market with the budget airlines. I do hope that Ryan Air will take an option to ordering the 737 MAX.

I am glad to see the 77W pick up huge orders with 200 ordered last year up from 154 last year and with 50 777 freighter aircraft delivered not bad.

As the first 787 was delivered a few months ago 2012 is going to be a great year for all the other airlines that will get the 787 delivered to them this year.

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