Boeing airliner sales jump but deliveries lag rival Airbus

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After a few disappointing years, Boeing is getting more orders and delivering more airline planes

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Boeing said on Tuesday that it delivered 38 commercial planes in December and 340 in 2021, nearly double the total for 2020.

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However, Airbus reported on Monday that it delivered 611 in 2021, topping Boeing for the third year in a row. Boeing was hampered by production lapses that halted shipments of its 787 Dreamliner for most of 2021.

Delivery is bigger than bragging rights – they are a significant source of cash for companies because airlines usually pay a large portion of the purchase price when they take possession of a new aircraft.

Boeing also said orders hit their highest level since 2018 before the grounding of the 737 MAX and that sales fell for two years because of the pandemic.

The Chicago company reported landing orders for 80 aircraft in December and 909 for the full year. However, after subtracting cancellations, Boeing posted 479 net orders, slightly behind Airbus’ total of 507.

Boeing reported a further 2021 figure of 535 orders, including 56 sales that were once unlikely to be fulfilled but are now viewed with more certainty. However, a spokesperson said that some of those orders were placed in earlier years. Because the backlogs of Boeing and Airbus are so large, airlines usually have to wait several years to receive all the planes they order.

There is no doubt that the competition between the world’s two biggest aircraft makers has intensified after being sided with Airbus for some time.

Boeing pulled off a coup last week when it received a large order from Allegiant Air, which currently has an all-Airbus fleet. Last month, Airbus raided Boeing customers by winning commitments for new orders from Air France-KLM and Australia’s Qantas.

The fast pace of orders at both companies indicates airlines are confident of strong demand and believe the pandemic will subside – or that passengers can live with the risk of COVID-19 and still fly. do.

Neither Boeing nor Airbus provided any information about how current orders and deliveries would affect their bottom line.

Boeing will report its 2021 financial results on January 26.

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