By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
The Boeing Co. delivered 169 jets in the second quarter — the highest number of aircraft delivered in a quarter since 1998.
That pushes the Chicago-based jetmaker past rival Airbus for the most airplane deliveries at mid-year with 306 to Airbus’ 295.
Boeing got a substantial boost in May and June as the company resumed deliveries of the popular Dreamliner, handing over 16 787s in two months. Dreamliner deliveries had been on hold since January when battery failures grounded the mostly composite jet.
“Obviously, our production rate increases are driving the spike in deliveries across the board,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, wrote Wednesday on his blog.
Already this year, Boeing completed increases in production on the 737, 777 and 787 lines. The company ramped up production of single-aisle jets to a pace of 38 per month. Boeing set a new record for 737 deliveries in the second quarter at 116, Tinseth wrote.
Production of the Everett-built 777 increased to 8.3 aircraft monthly in the first quarter, making it possible for Boeing to deliver 47 777s by the end of June.
Despite the three-month hold on 787 deliveries, Boeing continued to up the pace of Dreamliner production in Everett and North Charleston, S.C., from five to seven aircraft monthly. The company plans to be at a rate of 10 787s monthly by year’s end.
Airbus’ mid-year delivery total consisted of 233 A320s, 54 A330s and eight A380 superjumbo jets. The Toulouse, France-based company plans to begin deliveries of a new widebody jet, the A350XWB, next year. The A350 will compete with Boeing’s 787 and 777.
Through the end of June, Airbus led Boeing in net orders for aircraft. Airbus reported Wednesday it had booked 722 net orders in the first six months of 2013. Boeing also updated its year-to-date orders on Wednesday, listing 692 net orders for 2013 as of July 2.
Requests for single-aisle jets make up the bulk of both companies’ order books so far. Airbus logged 618 net orders for the A320 family. Boeing had 591 net orders for 737s. Airbus retained a slim lead over Boeing in widebody orders with 105 to Boeing’s 101.
Boeing will report its second quarter earnings July 24.
Michelle Dunlop: 425-339-3454; email@example.com.