Boeing Top Aircraft Manufacturer for 2012
Boeing, which has trailed rival Airbus in orders and deliveries for the past decade, will end the year as the world’s no. 1 airplane manufacturer, having both outsold and delivered more aircraft than Airbus in 2012.
Boeing delivered 601 commercial jets in 2012, the second highest figure after 1999, a year when deliveries of McDonnell Douglas jets following that aircraft manufacturer’s merger with Boeing gave a boost to the numbers. Boeing’s total unfilled orders for new aircraft stood at 4,373, another record,
By the close of the year, Boeing had received 1,203 orders for new aircraft, comfortably placing it in the lead.
The high sales figures were largely thanks to the success of the company’s 737 aircraft. In October, orders for the Next Generation 737 and 737-MAX hit 1,031, marking the first time that narrow-body jet orders exceeded 1,000 in one year. Notably, it took the 737-100, 737-200, and 737-300 family of aircraft 17 years to reach that figure.
Airbus only sold 358 single-aisle aircraft in the same period and received four orders for the A380 aircraft, the world’s largest passenger jet (Boeing sold 5 747s in the same period). Last year, the Airbus A320neo, a competitor to the 737, broke all sales records and helped keep Airbus on top. Earlier this month, Airbus received an order for 75 neos from Pegasus Airlines of Turkey, previously an all-Boeing 737 customer.
UPDATE 1 – This article was updated on January 3, 2012 after Boeing released final numbers for 2012.
(Photo: Jonathan Spira)