Airbus has announced an eight per cent rise in deliveries for 2016 as it successfully raced to deliver its target.
The European plane giant had to amp up deliveries at the tail end of the year after production problems proved a headache in earlier months.
So its commercial aircraft deliveries were up for the 14th year in a row, setting a new company record of 688 aircraft delivered to 82 customers, comfortably surpassing the 635 from 2015.
Airbus said it had received 731 net orders from 51 customers, eight of which are new and that by the end of the year its overall backlog stood at 6,874 aircraft.
"We delivered on our objectives in a challenging environment, proving our ramp-up readiness for the future," said Fabrice Brégier, president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and chief operating officer of Airbus. "Our strong operational performance combined with a robust market eager to place orders and take deliveries of aircraft in all sizes are now an excellent springboard for our next steps: boosting deliveries, harnessing the advantages of digital and extending our service portfolio globally."
Airbus said late last year it had been buffeted somewhat by the transition to new models and revamped versions of current ones. It wanted to make a smooth switch to a new model of A320, but was troubled by delayed deliveries of engines from Pratt & Whitney.
While the news keeps Airbus second to US rival Boeing, the growth stacks up against a drop in deliveries for Boeing last year (from 762 in 2015 to 748 planes for 2016). Boeing took 668 net orders last year - behind Airbus' 731 total, though both were down on the totals announced last year.
The Toulouse-based firm also announced an increase to the average list prices of its aircraft by one per cent across the product line - which became effective from the beginning of the month.