Boeing flies past Airbus with 2018 aircraft deliveries

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 09 2019 07:46 AM | Updated as of Jan 09 2019 09:20 AM

Airplane manufacturer Boeing shows a new iteration of an airplane wing system at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics during the AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition in San Diego, California, US Tuesday. Mike Blake, Reuters

NEW YORK - Boeing reported record commercial plane deliveries for the second straight year on Tuesday and although short of the company's forecast the figures still beat those of Boeing's European rival Airbus.

The US aerospace giant, which has capitalized on rising global demand for air travel, reported deliveries of 806 planes for the year, up from 763 in 2017. The biggest share came from the single-aisle 737, with 580 planes.

In October, Boeing had forecast annual plane deliveries of between 810 and 815. 

European airbus giant Airbus meanwhile said Tuesday it had delivered 800 commercial aircraft last year, in line with its target and also a record for the company. This compares with the 718 deliveries Airbus reported for 2017.

The Airbus 2018 delivery number was still subject to final auditing, the company said.

Aircraft deliveries are a more telling indicator of sales than orders, as planes are typically paid for on delivery.

"Boeing raised the bar again in 2018 thanks to our teammates' incredible focus on meeting customer commitments and continuously improving quality and productivity," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Kevin McAllister.

"In a dynamic year, our production discipline and our supplier partners helped us build and deliver more airplanes than ever before to satisfy the strong demand for air travel across the globe."

Boeing reported 893 net orders for 2018 valued at $143.6 billion by list prices. With the latest orders, the company said it had a seven-year order backlog.

The company highlighted Hawaiian Airlines had switched from Airbus to Boeing and identified Turkish Airlines as a new customer. It also boosted business with American Airlines and United Airlines.

"Another year of healthy jet orders continues to support our long-term forecast for robust global demand that will see the commercial airplane fleet double in 20 years," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing.

Shares of Boeing were up 3.4 percent at $339.25 in midday trading on Wall Street.

In Paris, Airbus shares closed up 3.7 percent at 86.65 euros.