Airbus and Boeing Deliveries Salve Sting of Weak Sales

 - January 25, 2010, 5:44 AM
Air France Airbus A380

Airbus and Boeing tallied their 2009 delivery totals this month and each managed to meet its respective target, giving the companies a chance to trumpet all-time records during a year that by most others measures was “challenging.” In fact, Airbus even met its projections for gross orders for the year with 310, worth $34.9 billion. Although with cancellations, Airbus’s net tally reached only 271, that total equated to 54 percent of the worldwide market share for airplanes seating more than 100 seats. Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), meanwhile, registered 263 gross and 142 net orders for the year. Deliveries generate the revenue, however, and by that measure both Boeing and Airbus fared quite well. All told, BCA delivered 481 airliners last year, matching its guidance of 480 to 485 units, while Airbus delivered 498, including 16 light and medium transport aircraft by Airbus Military.

Boeing’s 737 line continued to lead the company’s delivery totals with 372. The airplane also topped Boeing’s order book with gross orders for 197 examples and net orders for 178. The 777 followed in a distant second with 88 deliveries and net orders for 19 airplanes. The 787 suffered the worst effects of the industry slide with a net order tally of -59, shrinking its still robust backlog to 851 airplanes.

Airbus’ figures included 402 A320-family aircraft, 86 A330/A340s and 10 A380s–a bigger disappointment than expected given the company’s revised delivery expectation for the superjumbo stood at 13 until late in the year.

By the end of the year Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ order backlog stood at 3,375 airplanes while Airbus’ had 3,488, each representing some six years of production.