Boeing today reported that it took orders for 662 commercial airplanes last year, raising its backlog of unfilled commercial deliveries to more than 3,700. The release of the figures officially signaled the end of a three-year boom during which it inked orders for more than 1,000 airplanes each year from 2005 to 2007, when it registered a record tally of 1,413. With its most recent order total, Boeing has relinquished the title of world’s best-selling airplane maker to Airbus, which by the end of November had taken orders for 756 airplanes.
The Next-Generation 737 remained the company’s best seller, as customers placed orders for 484 of the type last year. Demand for the new 787 also remained strong, as the company collected firm orders for 93 Dreamliners, primarily from Middle East customers.
“While we clearly faced obstacles, 2008 also was a time of accomplishment at Commercial Airplanes,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Scott Carson, who noted that the 2008 order total ranked as the eighth highest on record. “We are leaders in commercial aviation and with that comes the responsibility to deliver the best value to our customers, our shareholders and our communities.
“With a balanced base of customers from all regions of the world, from airlines with varied business models, and with strong orders across our product line, we are now focused on executing this strong backlog position,” Carson added.
The twin-aisle 777 captured orders for 54 units from customers in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia. The 767-300ER (Extended Range) logged orders for 28. The new 747-8 Intercontinental added a mere three units to the order tally.
Boeing delivered 375 airplanes last year, including 290 737s (including six Boeing Business Jets), 14 747s, 10 767s and 61 777s. The two month-strike by some 27,000 machinists late last year resulted in a drop in shipment totals from 441 in 2007.