(Adds details, Boeing quotes)
Jan 3 Boeing Co appeared to recapture
bragging rights as the world's largest planemaker for the first
time in a decade, after saying it delivered 601 jets in 2012,
well ahead of a target set by rival Airbus.
Chicago-based Boeing's tally of 601 planes delivered to
customers puts it ahead of Airbus' stated goal of 580 deliveries
for the year.
Airbus' final figures won't be announced until Jan. 17, but
a Reuters analysis suggests its deliveries won't surpass
"The production system performed really, really well," and
helped drive deliveries up sharply from 477 in 2011, said Randy
Tinseth, vice president for marketing at Boeing's commercial
Boeing also beat its rival in sales, booking net orders for
1,203 aircraft in 2012, compared with about 900 for Airbus,
based on the Reuters analysis.
Boeing's near-record sales, thanks largely to the success of
its new 737 MAX, are topped only by its sales of 1,413 planes in
Boeing booked 1,124 net orders for 737s, more than any other
model in a single year, many of them for the MAX, which is
scheduled to enter service in 2016.
But Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, won the most new
orders over the last two years, a period when both companies
introduced new versions of their top-selling single-aisle
planes, the A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX.
Airbus' two-year gross sales are expected to total 2,580
planes. That tops Boeing's count of 2,260 for the two years.
Boeing officials downplayed Airbus' two-year win, noting it
had done better in sales of larger, wide-body jets, which carry
much higher price tags.
Boeing logged 155 gross orders for wide-body jets, which
include the 767, 777, 787 and 747 jumbo. That compares with 103
for Airbus models through November, including the A330, A340,
A350 and A380 superjumbo.
"All of a sudden, Airbus is talking about a two-year
period," Tinseth said. "They like to talk about their success in
2011, we had a great year in 2012 and we've been doing really
well on the wide-body side."
Boeing's newest jet, the 787, lost more orders than it
received. New orders for the carbon-composite plane totaled 50
compared with 62 cancellations.
Still, overall, Boeing has 799 unfilled orders for 787s and
is stepping up production to 10 a month this year.
Boeing is aiming to produce nearly 660 jets in 2013, easily
topping the 601 jets it delivered in 2012.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Bernadette Baum)