21 JANUARY 2019
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Aircraft manufacturing rivals Boeing and Airbus scored a near-draw in delivery numbers last year, with the US company slightly ahead with a record 806 commercial aircraft and Airbus announcing a total of 800.
Boeing, which beat its previous all-time high 2017 total of 763, held on the No 1 spot for deliveries for the seventh year running after a surge in the fourth quarter which saw 238 commercial aircraft handed over.
Boeing’s B737 family was the top performer again in 2018, with 580 handed over to customers, almost half of them the updated MAX family. Boeing delivered 69 B737s in December alone and the aircraft made up 72% of the annual total.
The B787 was also said to have performed strongly with 145 delivered from its two assembly plants, but the B777 continued its drop in delivery numbers as Boeing prepares for the introduction of the new B777X next year.
Airbus reached its 2018 aircraft delivery target of 800 after a year of delays due to component shortages, particularly new-generation engines.
The 800 delivery figure was set in early 2018, but at the time excluded the A220. Airbus acquired control of the aircraft in July from Canada’s Bombardier and the inclusion of the A220 in the numbers was enough for Airbus to hit the target.
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