The dominant names in aircraft manufacturing each delivered a record number of commercial planes last year, with Boeing just pipping its rival Airbus with 806 deliveries to 800.
Chicago-based Boeing retained its spot as the world’s biggest plane-maker, though Airbus said its backlog hit a new industry high of 7,577, including the 480 A220s it gained through purchasing a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries.
Boeing overtook Airbus in net orders with 893 to 747, a year-on-year drop of 33 per cent for the European manufacturer.
Airbus just reached its target for 2018, reportedly keeping production going until the very end of December 31. The C Series acquisition helped with that, too. Boeing fell just short of its own target of 810-815.
In 2017, Boeing delivered 763 commercial aircraft, while Airbus delivered 718.
Airbus released a graphic breaking down its deliveries for this year:
For those who prefer text to chart, that’s:
- 20 A220s (formerly Bombardier’s C Series);
- 626 A320s (vs 558 in 2017), of which 386 were A320neos (vs 181 NEOs in 2017);
- 49 A330s (vs 67 in 2017) including the first three A330neos in 2018;
- 93 A350 XWBs (vs 78 in 2017);
- 12 A380s (vs 15 in 2017)
The stats show the dominance of Airbus’s short- to medium-range A320s, still the world’s most popular passenger aircraft, and its newer A320neo family which launched with Lufthansa in 2016.
Meanwhile Boeing delivered:
- 580 B737s (vs 529 in 2017);
- 6 B747s (vs 14 in 2017);
- 27 B767s (vs 10 in 2017), including the transfer of 10 767-2C aircraft for the US Air Force KC-46 tanker programme
- 48 B777s (vs 74 in 2017);
- 145 B787s (vs 136 in 2017)
Shares in both companies rose on their announcements this week, following a year that saw strong demand but issues due to supplier delays.