With the big two manufacturers having released their order and delivery figures this week, here are the 13 top-selling narrowbody and widebody types of 2014.
1. Airbus A320neo
1,011 net orders
Toulouse’s re-engined narrowbody beat its Boeing 737 Max rival to the top spot last year with 1,011 net orders, and was the only type to break into four figures. The aircraft, which comprises A319neo, A320neo and A321neo variants, flew for the first time in 2014. An A320neo with Pratt & Whitney engines will be the first version to enter service in the fourth quarter of this year with Qatar Airways. The family is also offered with CFM Leap powerplants.
2. Boeing 737 Max
900 net orders
The CFM Leap-powered 737 Max finished 2014 with 900 net orders, and is Boeing’s bestseller by some margin. The sales performance took the type’s backlog to 2,663 – almost 1,000 behind its European rival. The replacement for the current 737NG family, the Max programme is roughly a year behind the Neo. First flight is scheduled for next year, with first deliveries in 2017.
3. Airbus A320ceo
310 net orders
Although it lost 194 orders from its backlog – largely due to customers switching to the Neo – Airbus’s current narrowbody family continues to sell strongly, even though it will start to be replaced by the Neo from later this year. The A320 “current engine option”, as it is now known, took more than 500 new orders, leaving it with a net margin of 310 and a healthy backlog of over 1,500 units.
4. Boeing 777X
220 net orders
Boeing’s revamped large twin-aisle jet was the bestselling widebody in 2014, notching up 220 orders with no cancellations and beating the Airbus A330neo by 100 units. Launched at the 2013 Dubai air show with a flurry of orders from Gulf carriers, the 777X family has two variants: the 777-8X and larger -9X. Still to be formally named, the General Electric GE9X-powered 777X features a composite wing of increased span over the current family and raked wing-tips. First delivery is set for 2020.
5. Boeing 737NG
204 net orders
Seattle’s current “New Generation” narrowbody family took 305 new orders, but shed 101 commitments partly as a result of customers swapping to the Max, leaving it with a tally of 204. The 737 still has the biggest backlog of current-generation airliners, with 1,636 still to be built before the full transition to its Max replacement.
6. Airbus A330neo
120 net orders
After much speculation, Airbus launched its re-engined A330 at last year’s Farnborough air show, and has picked up 120 orders since. The Rolls-Royce Trent 7000-powered A330-800neo and -900neo effectively take the place of the slow-selling A350-800 variant. Its relatively rapid programme development – entry into service is set for 2017 – has given Airbus a competitor to the Boeing 787-8, and a replacement for the successful A330 for customers unwilling to trade up to the larger A350.
7. Boeing 777
63 net orders
Boeing’s large widebody has been hugely successful in the long-haul market, and its current variants continue to be in demand ahead of the 777X’s arrival at the end of the decade. Some 63 orders were added in 2014.
8. Boeing 787
41 net orders
After a phenomenally successful sales story in the early years of the programme, demand for Boeing’s Dreamliner has slowed, with 65 gross and 41 net orders in 2014. However, the manufacturer still has the biggest backlog for a widebody by far, with 843 aircraft on its books at the end of 2014. Deliveries of the -9 version began last year, after entry into service of the smaller -8 in 2011. The largest, 323-seat variant of the trio, the -10, is due to enter service in 2018.
9. Airbus A330ceo
34 net orders
Despite the imminent arrival of the A330neo, the current engine option variants of Airbus’s top-selling widebody are still gaining orders – albeit slowly – with 20 cancellations leaving Airbus with net orders of 34 and a backlog of 193. Airbus made 108 deliveries last year, with almost three years to go before its A330neo replacement begins ramping up production.
10. Airbus A380
34 net orders
The world’s biggest passenger aircraft continued to sell slowly in 2014, despite a number of blue chip operators, including the three Gulf carriers, and Airbus’s continued confidence in the programme. Seven cancellations (Skymark and a VIP version for Saudi Arabia) took its net order tally down to just 13 with 165 aircraft to be delivered at the end of 2014. Airbus delivered 30 superjumbos during the year.
11. Boeing 767
Four net orders
The four new orders for Boeing’s venerable widebody were for the US Air Force’s KC-46A tanker programme. At the end of last year, the manufacturer flew the Pratt & Whitney PW4062-powered 767-2C prototype – a hybrid incorporating elements of three 767 variants – that will become the air force’s flying gas station. Seattle finished 2014 with a backlog of 47, as the twin-aisle programme is wound-down in favour of the 787.
12. Boeing 747-8
Zero net orders
The A380 may not have customers queuing round the block, but it is selling like hot cakes compared with Boeing’s own ultra-large aircraft, the 747-8, which won two orders in 2014 but lost two others, leaving it with a balance of zero. The latest version of the iconic jumbo jet, which was launched in 2005 and began deliveries in 2011, comes in freighter and 467-seat passenger configurations, has a backlog of 36 aircraft.
13. Airbus A350
Minus 32 net orders
It is a case of unlucky thirteenth for Airbus’s new widebody, which began passenger service this month with Qatar Airways. Despite a backlog of 779 aircraft – just 64 fewer than the 787 – and the sale of 57 units in 2014, the programme ended the year with negative 32 orders. This was largely a result of the cancellation, just before the Farnborough air show, of a 70-aircraft order from Emirates for 50 A350-900s and 20 of the larger -1000. The Emirates order was placed in 2007, with delivery originally expected in 2019.