Dreamliner helps Boeing beat Airbus in 2012


Boeing recorded a total of 1,203 commercial aircraft orders in 2012 – the second-largest number in the company’s history, and almost certainly more than its fierce rival, Airbus.

Boeing delivered 46 Dreamliners in 2012
Boeing delivered 46 Dreamliners in 2012

In an excellent year for the US planemaker, Boeing also delivered 601 aircraft – the most since 1999, and helped by the success of its B787 model. The company delivered 46 Dreamliners in 2012, including the first ever aircraft for six airlines – Japan Airlines, Air India, LAN Airlines, United Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and Qatar Airways. With 799 orders still unfulfilled, the new fuel-efficient aircraft looks set to continue its success for Boeing in the years ahead.

While Airbus’ full-year figures are yet to be released, analysts believe the European planemaker took around 900 orders and delivered approximately 580 aircraft in 2012.

Another Boeing model that saw considerable demand in 2012 was the B737, which achieved 1,124 orders – a record for any Boeing model in a single year. The B737 MAX – the new fuel-efficient version of the single-aisle aircraft – recorded 914 of these orders. Total orders for the B737 MAX now stand at 1,029, although this still trails the Airbus A320neo, which has logged more than 1,600 sales.

“Our employees rose to the challenge of executing several production rate increases in 2012 — a truly remarkable performance,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Increasing our deliveries by 26% allowed us to put more airplanes into the hands of our customers and grow our customer base by offering the best products and services.”

Boeing also delivered 83 B777s in 2012 and won 68 orders, while the B747-8 Intercontinental saw just one order and 31 deliveries, mainly to cargo airlines.

Conner added that Boeing would now look to boost production and further develop its new range of aircraft.

“As we look ahead to 2013, we’re focused on meeting our customer commitments by increasing production rates and delivering high-quality, reliable products and services,” said Conner. “We will also transition the 787-9 into production and flight test and work closely with customers, who contribute so much to our success, to continue defining the 787-10X and 777X.”

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