Buying your own Boeing plane does not come cheap. With the least-expensive plane listed at over $89 million, purchasing brand-new Boeing aircraft is a major financial investment even for the mega-rich. In practice, aircraft are usually acquired at less than the listed price, with discounts ranging anywhere from 20% up to 60%.
Boeing’s list prices
The majority of Boeing planes are listed at prices in the hundreds of millions.
Some of Boeing’s prices include:
- 737-700 – $89.1 million
- 737 MAX 7 – $99.7 million
- 737 MAX 8 – $121.6 million
- 737 MAX 10 – $134.9 million
- 747-8 – $418.4 million
- 777-300ER – $375.5 million
- 777-9 – $442.2 million
- 787-8 – $248.3 million
- 787-10 – $338.4 million
Boeing lists these prices as averages. When purchasing new aircraft, airlines usually have a wide range of options and configurations available. This ranges from increased fuel capacity to alternative seat configurations and can affect the price considerably.
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Most airlines aren’t paying the full list price
Aircraft manufacturers and airlines negotiate discounts off the list price when placing orders, especially for large orders. In fact, list prices are considered so pointless that Airbus decided to stop publishing any pricing list for its planes.
There are numerous factors at play when determining discounts and every deal has its uniquities. Sometimes airlines and planemakers have long-term relationships which help to seal more favorable discounts, as is the case with all-Boeing airline Southwest. Other influencing factors include order size, being a launch customer and airline size.
One plane offered around at a heavy discount was the 737 MAX after its grounding in March 2019. By early-2020, Boeing was shopping the MAX around at hugely discounted prices. Alex Macheras, an airline analyst, told AeroMag,
“Airline executives in South America and South East Asia have told me they’ve been offered deals on small sales that are normally only given on really big orders, ones in the hundreds.”
Actual plane prices are kept confidential
When purchasing aircraft, airlines will dispatch negotiating teams to haggle with the likes of Boeing and Airbus. To ensure each negotiation isn’t influenced by what other airlines have paid, talks are held in confidentiality and agreed prices are not made public right away.
However, with new tax regulations demanding greater transparency, Airbus shed some light on how aircraft pricing really works in 2019. The planemaker revealed most airlines receive a whopping 50% discount on orders. To remain competitive, Boeing most likely offers a similar markdown for its customers.
The future of plane pricing
With the COVID pandemic wreaking havoc in the aviation industry, it’s unclear what exactly will happen with aircraft pricing. We may see Boeing willing to sell planes at any price, or they may play hardball to avoid further financial losses. Boeing claims it has lost $3.5 billion this fiscal year alone, with countless airlines deferring or canceling deliveries as their own finances dry up.
Although Boeing will be keen to make up for its losses, it won’t be too eager to offer huge discounts to its customers. However, with most airlines suffering severely from the pandemic themselves, there will be a reluctance to invest in new planes.
Do you see Boeing making up its financial losses any time soon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.