But Boeing already had planned to scale back production last year and saw decline in jet deliveries to 462 in 2010, compared with 481 the previous year. The increase in orders and fewer deliveries have boosted Boeing's backlog to 3,443 unfilled orders, sufficient to keep both Boeing's workers and suppliers in the Puget Sound region busy for years to come.
Boeing's rival, Airbus, has not released its final 2010 numbers. Airbus had received 388 net orders through the end of November. It bested Boeing in orders the last two years. However, the European jet maker undoubtedly will surpass Boeing in deliveries with 461 jets delivered through November.
For the second year, Boeing's new 787 program ended 2010 in negative territory. Delays dogged the Dreamliner program, which finished 2010 with 41 787 cancellations, four more than new orders. In 2009, the Dreamliner had 59 more cancellations than new orders. However, the 787's backlog is still strong with 847 unfilled orders.
Joining the Dreamliner in the hole in 2010 was Boeing's also-delayed 747-8 program. The jumbo jet program received a cancellation late in the year, leaving the program with a negative one order for 2010.
As usual, the 737 led the way in orders in 2010 with 486 net orders. The Everett-built 777 received 46 net orders for the year and the 767 had three.
“With 376 deliveries in 2010, the Next-Generation 737 set a company delivery record for the second consecutive year,” Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.
Boeing already has announced plans to boost 737 production to 35 jets monthly in early 2012. That rate will go up again to 38 jets each month in the second quarter of 2013.
Boeing delivered 74 777s and 12 767s in 2010.
Although Boeing has not given its delivery forecast for 2011, its deliveries should rise. The company plans to increase 777 production from five to seven aircraft each month beginning mid-year.
Boeing also plans to begin deliveries of its 747-8 this year. Boeing didn't deliver any jumbo jets in 2010 as it moved into flight test on its 747-8 freighter and production on its 747-8 passenger plane.
Before an electrical fire broke out on a 787 flight test last November, Boeing had planned to deliver the first Dreamliner in mid-February. The company hasn't provided a new schedule yet but expects to provide an overall commercial jet delivery estimate for 2011 when it releases its year-end earnings report Jan. 26.
Boeing's shares finished Thursday at $68.73, up $1.25 for the day.
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