Boeing Delivers 121 Aircraft in First Quarter

 - April 3, 2009, 8:56 AM

First-quarter deliveries for Boeing Commercial Airplanes rose 5.2 percent from a year earlier, to 121 airliners, the company announced today. Despite registering four more cancellations than new orders in the first three months, the period proved more lucrative than analysts predicted. Aircraft manufacturers get paid the majority of the purchase price of each airplane at the point of delivery.

The bulk of the deliveries came from the 737 line, which produced 91 airplanes during the quarter. Boeing also delivered 23 B777s, four 747s and three 767s.
Boeing projects it will deliver between 480 and 485 airplanes this year, notwithstanding a large number of expected deferrals and delivery cancellations. Airbus, meanwhile, plans to deliver 483.

Financial analysts have characterized both manufacturers’ targets as unrealistic, citing a funding gap estimated to equate to 15- to 30-percent of planned deliveries this year. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson has said that the company likely wouldn’t need to consider cutting production until next year, and by 10 percent at most.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders conceded that he would not exclude further cuts “if the need arises.” The company already has cut production of its A320 family from 36 to 34 per month and suspended a planned increase in A330/A340 production, which remains at 8.5 per month.