Russia’s Aeroflot Cancels 22 Boeing 787 Dreamliner Orders

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News has come out recently that Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has officially cancelled its 2007 order for 22 Boeing 787-8 and -9 Dreamliners. This sizeable cancellation could be a concern as the backlog for the aircraft model has been decreasing in recent times. No clear reasons have been given as to why the order was cancelled.

Aeroflot fleet
Russian national flag carrier Aeroflot has a total fleet size of 252. Roughly 60-70% are narrowbody jets. Photo:Aeroflot

A long time coming

It’s hard to believe that this order was came in twelve years ago – in 2007. This is what Aeroflot had to say about it’s “new purchase” in the original press release:

“The 787 is an excellent match for many of our requirements thanks to its efficiency, operational performance and passenger comfort. The 787 will open new market opportunities as we further modernize our fleet and expand our international reach,” said Valery Okulov, Aeroflot general director.

According to Reuters, the cancellation was not announced or made public by Boeing or Aeroflot. In fact, it was buried in Boeing’s monthly order release. Reuters reports that this order was already facing uncertainty in 2015 ever since the airline said it no longer needed the planes. At list prices, the lost Aeroflot order is worth $5.5 billion. However, the amount that actually gets paid is often less due to discounts and deals.

Aeroflot is expecting to take delivery of its first Airbus A350 in early 2020. Photo: Airbus

In the same year the airline announced its order for the 787, it was also one of the first airlines to order the A350 from Airbus in 2007. This order is for 14 of the new fuel-efficient jets, which use Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines. The new aircraft are set to replace several of the Russian Airline’s older A330 wide-body jets by the end of 2021.

Worries over production rate

The Seattle Times reports that Boeing’s backlog of 787 Dreamliner orders was cut by 14 last month. This is because the aircraft manufacturer lost Aeroflot’s order of 22 Dreamliners but gained eight from Air New Zealand. Aeroflot’s order of 22 consisted of 18 smaller 787-8s and four 787-9s. Air New Zealand’s order is for the 787-10 variant.

787 Factory at Everett
The 787 Factory at Everett. Photo: Boeing

According to the Seattle Times, this lost order is a cause for concern as the 787 backlog is dwindling fast. The aircraft manufacturer has been seeking new 787 orders to ensure it can maintain a high production rate. Generating cashflow has become increasingly important as the company deals with the 737 MAX crisis.

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A total of 556 Dreamliners are still on order. These orders are split almost evenly between Boeing’s two production sites in Everett and in North Charleston, S.C.. Doing the math, at a rate of 14 jets per month, this gives Boeing about 40 months of work.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this news shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given the 2015 news from Aeroflot. Furthermore, an astounding amount of time that has come and gone since the original order announcement.

We reached out to both Boeing and Aeroflot requesting comments or official statements. Boeing has responded, declining to comment. However, we have yet to receive any response from Aeroflot. Were you looking forward to seeing Aeroflot operate the Boeing 787? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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