By Chuck Taylor Herald Writer
The Boeing Co. delivered a record 648 jetliners in 2013 and booked 1,355 net orders, the second-best sales year in company history.
The previous record for Boeing deliveries was 601, in 2012. In 1999, the company delivered 620 airplanes, but 47 of those were McDonnell Douglas models built in Long Beach, Calif. The companies merged in 1997.
The company did not disclose the output at the North Charleston, S.C., 787 factory, which made its first delivery in October 2012. But the blog All Things 787, which tracks production and delivery of Dreamliners, counted 14 planes produced in South Carolina in 2013.
Doing the math, Boeing produced an average of 54 planes per month in 2013, including:
• 65 787s, an average of 4.25 per month in Everett and just over 1 per month in North Charleston. The 787 production rate was greatly affected by the lithium-ion battery crisis in the first four months of the year, when the Federal Aviation Administration grounded in-service Dreamliners for 100 days and Boeing had to redesign the power system and retrofit airplanes.
Even late in the year, the 787 delivery rate was anything but consistent. Twelve Dreamliners were delivered in December, exceeding the company’s goal of 10 per month, but only five were delivered in November.
• 98 777s from Everett.
• 17 747s from the line that launched the Everett factory. The 747-8 production rate dropped from two per month at the beginning of 2013 to 1.5 per month by the end of the year.
• Two 767s from Everett, where work also commenced on three derived KC-46A aerial-refueling tankers for the Air Force.
• 440 737s from Renton, at the eye-popping average per-month rate of more than 36 planes.
Boeing’s backlog stood at 5,080 jetliners at the end of 2013, including 3,680 unfilled orders for the 737.
In sales, the company booked 1,531 orders and 176 cancellations for net orders of 1,355. Almost all of the cancellations were 737s.
Customers last year ordered 1,208 737s, 183 787s, 121 777s, 17 747s and two 767s. Cancelled were orders for 162 737s, eight 777s, five 747s and one 787.
Airbus has not yet released data on 2013. Through November, the Toulouse, France-based competitor had delivered 562 planes.
Boeing has an interactive online list of orders and deliveries at active.boeing.com/commercial/orders/index.cfm.