Boeing leads Airbus in orders, deliveries for the year

By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

The Boeing Co. delivered 237 aircraft during the first five months of the year, up nearly 32 percent from the same period in 2011.

Boeing said Thursday it handed over 49 aircraft last month as the company strives to meet a delivery goal of between 585 and 600 airplanes this year. The Chicago-based jetmaker leads European rival Airbus in jet orders and deliveries through May.

On Thursday, Airbus reported year-to-date jet deliveries of 228. The Toulouse, France-based company said it delivered 45 jets in May, including three A380 superjumbos.

Airbus said it took in orders for 37 A320s, pushing the single-aisle jet family’s order total to 8,400 over its lifetime. The company has 132 net orders across product lines for the first five months of 2012.

On Thursday, Boeing added an order for five 777s from Pakistan International Airlines and one 777 from an unnamed customer. However, the Chicago-based company also logged a cancellation for four 777s, bringing Boeing’s net order total to 420.

Boeing’s substantial order lead over Airbus this year is largely because of the popularity of the company’s re-engined 737 MAX, launched in August. Airbus beat Boeing in orders in 2011, having launched the re-engined A320 in late 2010.

Both aircraft makers are expected to announce several new requests for aircraft during next month’s Farnborough International Airshow, held outside of London every other year.

Like Boeing, Airbus also has boosted aircraft production, having delivered 217 aircraft during the first five months of 2011, compared to 228 this year.

In May, Boeing delivered eight 777s, three of the new 747-8, two 767s and 36 Renton-built 737s. Boeing officials have estimated this year the company will deliver between 35 and 43 of each of its 747-8 and 787 jets. Through May, Boeing had delivered eight 787s and 11 747-8s.

Boeing had been expected to deliver Air India’s first 787 last month. On Wednesday, India’s minister of civil aviation said the carrier and Boeing had agreed to compensation over 787 delivery delays, clearing the way for three 787s to be delivered to Air India in June.

Boeing’s stock increased 93 cents Thursday to close at $69.95.

Michelle Dunlop: 425-339-3454; mdunlop@heraldnet.com.