Boeing delivered 38 jetliners in January, beating Airbus

An unpainted Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is parked at Renton Municipal Airport near the Boeing Renton facility in Renton
An unpainted Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is seen parked in an aerial photo at Renton Municipal Airport near the Boeing Renton facility in Renton, Washington, U.S. July 1, 2019. Picture taken July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Tuesday it had delivered 38 airplanes in January, a modest improvement from a year earlier, including 35 of its bestselling 737 MAX single-aisle jets and three widebody 787 Dreamliners.

The U.S. planemaker outperformed European rival Airbus (AIR.PA), which delivered only 20 aircraft last month - a one third drop from January 2022 that Airbus's chief executive termed a "wake up call," Reuters reported on Monday.

Boeing executives, however, have stressed that the pace of deliveries will vary from month to month, dampening expectations that it would stay on the same trajectory in February.

The monthly orders and deliveries announcement comes a day before chief financial officer Brian West is set to speak at a conference where he is expected to update investors on Boeing's planned production ramp up and on any headwinds caused by continued supply chain woes.

Boeing delivered 32 aircraft in the same period last year, when it was dealing with a production stoppage on the 787 that lasted until August. Deliveries of 737 MAXs at the time numbered 27 jets.

Boeing booked gross orders for 55 aircraft last month: 33 737 MAXs, 15 KC-46 tankers for the U.S. Air Force and seven 787 Dreamliners. That number was partly offset by order cancellations for 39 aircraft, resulting in net orders for 16.

Tui Travel ordered four of the narrowbody MAX planes in a previously unannounced agreement that took the British leisure travel group's number of aircraft in unfilled orders to nearly 40, Boeing said. Japanese carrier Skymark ordered four MAXs as part of a deal announced in November.

Customers for the seven Dreamliners and remaining 25 MAXs were not identified.

The company's backlog increased from 4,578 to 4,585 orders.

Although Boeing also delivered its final 747 freighter to Atlas Air on Jan. 31, the company said it would include that aircraft in its next monthly update.

Reporting by Valerie Insinna; Editing by Bradley Perrett

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