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What Aircraft Orders to Expect This Year

Orders from United, Riyadh Air, Saudia, Cathay Pacific, El Al, and several other airlines are expected in the coming months.

Boeing’s 777X aircraft approaching after its maiden test flight (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Zera)

With American Airlines announcing a massive order of over 200 aircraft earlier this week, what other major orders can we expect from airlines for the remainder of 2024?

So Far in 2024

Two months and an airshow later, the aviation industry enters the summer season and there are already a very healthy amount of orders for both Boeing and Airbus. The latest significant orders came from American Airlines, for Airbus A321neo, Boeing 737 MAX 10, and Embraer E175 aircraft, along with Ethiopian for the 777-9.

During the Singapore Airshow a week prior, Airbus received orders from Starlux for A330neo and A350F aircraft, and signed an MoU with VietJet for 20 A330neo. Thai ordered 45 787-9s with options for converting from Boeing, and Royal Brunei secured four 787-9s.

Earlier in the year, Airbus scored orders from two U.S. carriers; 20 A350-1000s with options from Delta and 10 A220s from Breeze. The manufacturer also received confirmation from EVA AIR for its A350-1000 and A321neos at the beginning of January.

A rendering of Delta’s A350-1000 (Photo: Delta)

More Are Coming

Based on factors including current fleet composition, the need for fleet renewal and growth, and financial performance, here is a look at the airlines that are likely to place an order in the near future.

United Airlines

With Boeing under investigation, triggered by the Alaska door plug accident, delivery and certification are slowing down across most Boeing product lines. As a result, CEO Scott Kirby has indicated that the airline no longer expects delivery of 737 MAX 10s until 2025 and is working on a fleet plan without the type.

Many expect United to place an order for a narrowbody type soon, likely with Airbus, as Kirby was reportedly in Toulouse attempting to secure earlier delivery slots.

Riyadh Air and Saudia

An order that is almost certainly taking place this year will come from Riyadh Air, with its launch planned for 2026, the choice of widebody is confirmed but no narrowbody has been ordered yet. Another Saudi carrier, Saudia, is expected to place an order for narrowbody jets for fleet renewal. After placing an order for 39 Dreamliners last year, the last piece of its renewal and growth project is a narrowbody type.

Riyadh Air’s logo design on a Boeing 787 (Photo: Riyadh Air)

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is finally profitable after years of struggle due to blows from political unrest, economic downturn, and the pandemic. The airline placed a top-up order for the A321neo last year and is renewing its products across cabins from later this year.

However, it still lacks a replacement for its A330-300s. It is a fleet of 42 according to planespotter.net and many units are over 20 years old, so a widebody order can be expected for fleet renewal.

Some possibilities include Boeing’s 787-10, as many other Asian carriers, such as Singapore and EVA AIR, have done. Airbus is also expected to make a push with its A330neo.

Chinese Carriers

It is rather difficult to predict orders from state-owned Chinese carriers as geopolitics play an important factor. However, with traffic slowly picking up, an order is a possibility.

A narrowbody order is less likely because the COMAC 919 has garnered many orders, and there are still many unfulfilled 737 MAXs and A320neos destined for Chinese carriers that are yet to be delivered. A widebody order, however, is more likely. Specifically, there are aging A330s currently in the fleets of all three major Chinese carriers.

Others

El Al has indicated that it is looking to order as it posts a net profit of $117 million for 2023. The airline has some aging 777-200s and 737s while also looking for growth opportunities. Boeing is the likely winner here as the airline maintains an all-Boeing fleet and has been loyal to the planemaker.

An El Al 737-800 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Biman Bangladesh is also still deciding between Boeing and Airbus for its widebody order, which could include some freighters as well. Elsewhere in Asia, depending on the status of the Korean Air-Asiana merger, several new orders can take place from Korean carriers. T’way and Air Premia were also granted more flying rights to Europe and North America, which will require new widebody aircraft.

Anthony Bang An

Author

  • Anthony Bang An

    Anthony is an airline enthusiast who also loves traveling. He grew up around the world from St. Louis to Singapore and now lives in Amsterdam. He loves long-haul flying and finds peace in the sound of engine cruising. Fresh out of high school, he aspires to be working in the aviation industry and share his passion for the sky. 

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