Market Presence. As of the end of October 2018 a total of 890 orders had been placed for the A350. The orderbook has undergone a notable increase since 2013 when some 600 had been ordered. The customer base is extensive at 45 including seven lessors and private operators. The preference is clearly for the -900 at this stage with few orders for the -800. The -800 may therefore not proceed. The orders for the -1000 now number 173 although there have been some changes more recently which has resulted in a reduction. In comparison to the 717 orders for the A350-900 Boeing has secured 790 orders for the B787-9. While Airbus aims to achieve a delivery rate of ten per month to date the delivery rate has been exceedingly low.
Market Outlook. There are always risks and rewards in being the first to launch a new product. The reward is being the first to market and therefore being able to secure a number of orders before the competition. The risk lies in allowing the competition to be able to offer improvements. Airbus has enjoyed considerable success with the A350 but the increase in the size of the B777-9 does make it possible that Airbus may have to consider a stretch to the A350-1000 which indeed was mooted at the Dubai Air Show of November 2015. In terms of the residual values for the existing A350-900 all the uncertainties have now been removed. The product line is defined, save for the possibility of a stretch to the A350-1000. The type has proved itself in service. The residual values of the existing A350 can therefore be accurately calculated. The development of the intercontinental market will continue to favour the A350 as the years progress.