As forecasted, we have already seen quite impressive narrowbody orders this year, although the Paris Air Show is still ahead of us.
For example, there are already orders for 461 more A320neo family aircraft – remarkably most of the for the A321neo – this year. In 2012 we saw 478 firm orders, some of which had already been announced at the Paris Air Show in 2011.
The B737MAX had it’s big year in 2012, so we cannot expect that we see more than the 949 orders from 2012 in 2013 again. So far the B737MAX got 121 orders this year.
But I expect more big orders for both narrowbodies in 2013. I already wrote about China and the needs of the airlines there, but now it becomes clearer. According to CAPA (Centre for Aviation) , the China Times writes that chinese airlines will order about 500 narrowbodies from both Airbus and Boeing in 2013. About half of these orders would be for the neo and MAX models. This would not only be a(nother) boost for both reengining programs, it would also fill further the remaining delivery slots for the current models.
Adam Pilarski from AVITAS still thinks that we see a bubble with all these narrowbody orders. He could be right – if we would see an economic crisis hitting South East Asia and China, a lot of these orders would quickly disappear. But as long as these economies are thriving, Airbus and Boeing (and in the long run probably also Bombardier and Embraer) have nothing to fear but not being able to quickly enough deliver the ordered aircraft.