The end of FY18 approaches and the big four planemakers prepare to land their final reports. It is time to see how Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer have performed in terms of aircraft orders and deliveries in the face of mergers and takeovers shaping the global commercial aircraft segment.

The OEM that received most orders for and delivered the most aircraft in the first nine months of 2018 was Boeing. The US planemaker received orders for 631 commercial aircraft in this period, which entailed a 19.3 percent growth in orders received in comparison to the same period in 2017. The most popular aircraft of the company in terms of orders and deliveries were the members of the 737 family. Boeing received orders for 448 B737 units and delivered another 407 between January and September 2018.

Airbus is in second position in terms of orders and deliveries with 311 and 503 aircraft units, respectively, but has the largest backlog of the big four with 7,383 units as of 3Q18. The company managed to receive 14.7 percent more orders for aircraft and deliver 10.7 percent more units in the first nine months of 2018 than in the same period of last year. Those deliveries include eight CS300 aircraft that were renamed Airbus A220-300s after Airbus took a majority stake in Bombardier’s C Series program in July 2018. The most popular Airbus aircraft are the members of the A320 Family. The European OEM received orders for 129 of them and delivered another 251 to its clients during this period.

Though Bombardier managed to increase orders between January and September 2018 by 19.3 percent, the company announced it will reduce its staff globally by 7.2 percent (7,000 employees) and sell its Dash 8 turboprop program (including its popular Q400 aircraft) to Viking Air. Bombardier’s deliveries dropped 21.7 percent to 36 aircraft delivered between January and September 2018. Its most-delivered aircraft were the members of the CRJ Series with 14 units. By September 2018, the Canadian OEM’s commercial aircraft backlog stood at 122 planes.

Embraer also seems to be in a tough situation. Compared to 78 aircraft produced and delivered between January and September 2017, the Brazilian OEM only delivered 57 aircraft in the same period of 2018 with E175 being the most delivered plane with 44 units. The company keeps a healthy backlog of 251 commercial aircraft and the future could be more promising. There are plans in motion for Boeing to merge with Embraer, but this project has met criticism by the Brazilian government, which has prevented its consolidation. Jair Bolsonaro, President-elect of Brazil, reportedly views this project favorably, which could help the merger conclude during his administration.

Here are the big four’s figures for orders and deliveries as FY18 approaches its end:

OEM Commercial Aircraft Net Orders (units) Most ordered commercial aircraft Commercial Aircraft Deliveries (units) Most Delivered Commercial Aircraft Backlog as of 3Q18 (units)
Jan – Sep 2017 Jan-Sep 2018 Variation Jan-Sep 2017 Jan-Sep 2018 Variation
Airbus 2711 311 + 14.7% A320 Family (129 units) 454 5032 + 10.7% A320 Family (251 units) 7,383
Boeing 529 631 + 19.3% Boeing 737 (448 units) 554 568 + 2.5 % Boeing 737 (407 units) 5,849
Bombardier3 48 90 + 187.5 % 46 36 -21.7 % CRJ Series (14 units) 122
Embraer4 78 57 -26.9 % E175 (44 units) 251

[1] Between January and September 2017 Airbus sold 319 aircraft, which was reduced to 271 after several cancellations and conversions.

[2] Including eight A220-300s that were formerly known as Bombardier CS300 prior to July 2018 when Bombardier and Airbus partnered in the CS Series program.

[3] Bombardier published its 3Q18 Report on November 8, 2018.

[4] Only cumulative data for orders available.


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