Behind the numbers

You’ve probably read by now that Boeing won the deliveries race in 2015, while Airbus won on the orders side. But in my latest podcast, I wanted to take a deeper dive and see what’s going on behind the numbers. Click below to listen.

For our next podcast, we’ll be answering reader questions on a wide range of topics. If you have a question— send it to I look forward to it!

Comments (13)

Leo G Henton (Lynnwood, WA 98036 USA):

Hello to Randy Tinseth and staff:

I noticed that on the January 14, 2016 intro to Randy’s Audio Blog at the following hyperlink:

that you welcome and invite questions.

Within an appropriate forum, if possible please provide some perspective on the following:

The following is the type of question that I would expect some external Wall Street analyst to ask, perhaps during the January 27, 2016 guidance briefing.

Please characterize to an appropriate level of fidelity, the anticipated BA order-book sensitivity to crude oil commodity futures price, duration and the strength of the U.S. dollar.

For example, some Wall Street analysts expect crude oil futures to fall to and hold for a lengthy period of time at $ 20.00 per barrel. A lot of the models that support such analytical prediction tie it to strength of the U.S. Dollar. Also, geo-politics and the marginal cost of production in the Arabian Gulf fields could set the floor of that crude oil commodity price. Of course the strength of the U.S. dollar affects exports.

If you care to, please describe how the characterization requested above folds into the internal BCA- E.I.P. calculation for years 2016 and beyond.

Also, if you care to please address how the strengths and contributions of BCA-Commercial Aviation Services (C.A.S.) come into play is such a hypothetical scenario.

Thank you greatly for your time and consideration. I personally greatly appreciate the privilege of nominating topics for your consideration.

Best regards,

Leo G. Henton

Harry Cattermole (Durham, England):

Hi Randy,

Would you be so kind as to let me know the reason why we see a cone tethered to the vertical stabiliser when your new aircraft are being tested?

I have been flying to the USA for 35 years and not ever flown there on any Airbus aircraft, what-so-ever, similarly, I have been flying to Europe for the same amount of time and again never flown Airbus (I only book to Europe when there is a 737 on the route.

I have got my first 787-8 flight back to the US in a couple of months and I'm so looking forward to that experience.

Would you think that flying to the United States for over 35 years ONLY on Boeing Airplanes is some achievement and perhaps Boeing would recognise my loyalty to them?

"I'm not going if it ain't Boeing"

Kindest Regards

Harry Cattermole

Harold Williams II (Lynnwood, WA):

I loved this podcast! This was my first time listening to it. Personally myself I am excited for the 777x and it already is my favorite Boeing Aircraft and it's not even out yet!

Randy Tinseth:

Thanks for reading Harry.

The trailing cone is dragged behind the airplane during flight test, and measures the static pressure or altitude.

Joakim (Stockholm, Sweden):

Hi Randy, and thanks for the podcast. Terrific!

For your next podcast, I would be tremendously interested to hear a little bit about your thoughts on the new low cost of fuel environment. Given your comprehensive and very nuanced understanding of carrier operations and fleet planning, how does fuel at less than $1.00 per gallon affect the thinking at airlines, if at all? Will airlines generally be more inclined to expand their networks and develop new routes, to upgauge existing services, or to increase frequency? I imagine that inexpensive fuel in general will decrease the trip cost delta between variants of an airplane family, for example the 737-700 and the 737-900; hence improving relative CASM for stretch variants. Will it be easier to operate wide-bodies on medium-haul routes? - Any reflections, thoughts, insights into how fuel costs affect commercial aviation would be very appreciated indeed.

Pablo Bustamante (México City):

I like Boeing airlplanes and I always try to in fly in Boeing jets, however I noticed that some airlines has been changed to Airbus (I thing those are cheaper) even in USA (Allegiant, Hawaiian, Delta A350, etc...) I really do not understand the reason of this change and why Boeing don't get agreements with regional Airbus airlines like Volaris, Interjet, Jet Blue to sell them the 737's taking the geographical advantage related to maintainance for example.


Pablo Bustamante

Fred (Singapore):

Randy, congratulations to Boeing for winning the deliveries race in 2015 and setting a new industry record for the number of deliveries. However, this achievement is overshadowed by Airbus’ winning the orders race and the widening market lead of the A320neo over the 737 Max. As an opinion piece in FlightGlobal last December put it, the neo’s lead over the Max is “probably insurmountable.” Some industry commentators are already saying Boeing is resigned to being number two in the single aisle market for the next decade or more, until the New Small Airplane is launched. But as the world’s leader in commercial airplanes, I feel Boeing shouldn’t accept this and regain the narrowbody initiative by doing something disruptive: launching the NSA much sooner.

When the 737 Max was launched, then-CEO Jim McNerney said Boeing had wanted to develop a new airplane, but the production system wasn’t ready. If the technology to do the NSA was available back then, the more so it would be in the next few years. Perhaps there’s no need for “moon shots” in technology to reduce fuel burn over the neo/Max, especially if oil prices stay low, but advances in reliability, comfort and safety are essential. And spend the next few years readying the production system.

Launching a new product when the current one selling so well is a tough call – you end up cannibalising orders of the current airplane as some customers will simply wait for the new airplane to become available, while others may convert existing orders to it. But this situation equally affects Airbus and perhaps more so, for they have a greater number of neo orders to lose to the new airplane – whether it is an A320 or 737 successor. And if Boeing makes the first move this time in launching the NSA, you might even be able to win over some neo customers and gain the upper hand.

Best regards

Surjeet (New Delhi):

I like traveling in Boeing planes...

I hope you will be able to sell more planes to the leading airlines in India.

I believe Spicejet is out to shop for more planes.

Indigo, the biggest today, does not fly Boeing.

Air India too flies Airbus.

India is a big market. I am sure you could do better in India with several opportunity opening up

Frank Mc Avennie (London):

Randy, Having listened to your podcast, I feel there was a real opportunity missed here. To add context, I grew up in an era pre Airbus and Boeing all around. I have flown numerous times, mainly on Boeing's but I was kinda dismayed at some of the points made in the podcast.

I know you act for Boeing and will always put a positive spin on your performance (which in terms of deliveries) has been great over the years, especially so in 2015 but it's sad to hear you ignore the chasm that appears to be developing in the narrow body market where clearly, Airbus has taken the lead. I think that deserves credit, even if it's not a pleasant feeling. You have had major issues with the 787 but have come through them stronger and hopefully the Max will quickly catch up your European competitor.

I'm merely saying that when you're going through a transition period, such as your development program's for both wide and narrow bodies, you know Boeing's strength and pedigree, so there really is no need to downplay your competitors performance. Humility goes a long way I believe. Once again, well done for 2015.

mehdi (Iran,Bandar abbas):

Iranian People like traveling in modern planes...
after lifting sanctions Iran decided to buy 114 new airplanes from Airbus company,Do you have any negotiation with Iranian to sell Boeing planes due to modernize iranian fleet.

Spencer Comert (Hiroshima, Japan):

Greetings from Japan Randy! As you stated delivering more airplanes is what really matters.

Do you think there is a relationship Boeing’s higher delivery number and Airbus customers having a higher retention cancelling their orders more than Boeing customers (not only within the same year for net orders but in the long run)

It would be interesting to monitor a metric that shows the relationship between orders, cancelations and deliveries.

Thank you for the great podcast!

Randy Tinseth:

Thanks for the question Mehdi.

There are many steps that need to be taken should we decide to sell airplanes to Iran’s airlines. For now, we continue to assess the situation.

Norman Garza (Long Beach, CA):

I think the A380 really is a development of the thinking of the 1990's with the 747-500/600/700X/X/Y, the NLA. The philosophy at the time was bigger is better, Airbus took that philosophy and took it to market with limited results. The philosophy of today is, better to do with a 500 seater than an 800 seater and super twin jets like the 777-300ER have sold very well.

The A350 is not selling massively but not badly either but the A350-800 is like what, 10 or 13 on order by two airlines now, far short for a plane that competes with the 787-9. A proposed A350-1100 would be an interesting development making what could be the longest twinjet and perhaps airliner in the world.

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