Boeing set to keep crown as the world’s biggest plane producer

 
Marion Dakers
PLANE maker Boeing beat its own targets and several annual records for commercial plane sales last year, the US firm announced yesterday.

The company handed over the keys for 648 jets to airlines last year, up 7.8 per cent on last year, and booked 1,531 commercial orders. Both totals are company records and are likely to put Boeing ahead of its rival Airbus on deliveries for the second year in a row.

Chicago-based Boeing had aimed to deliver 645 jets for the year, compared to a goal of 620 at Airbus, which will reveal its final tally next week.

The company’s unfilled commercial orders stood at 5,080 at the end of the year.

Boeing delivered 65 of its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner planes to 16 airlines during the year, though the entire fleet was grounded for months while a battery problem was fixed.

Meanwhile, Boeing’s machinists in Seattle voted narrowly in favour of pension cuts to ensure construction of the new 777X is kept in the US city’s factories. The plane, launched in November, has already attracted 259 orders.