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Monday, January 6, 2014

Boeing May Top Airbus for Second Year

Woodrow Bellamy III 

Boeing is on pace to be the top airframe manufacturer for a second consecutive year, delivering 648 commercial aircraft which is enough to beat the Airbus target of 620 for 2013, according to a statement released Monday, Jan. 6. 
At the Dubai Airshow, flyDubai placed an order for 100 737 MAXs and 11 Next Generation 737-800s. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.
The total of 648 is a company record, breaking the previous single year record and was fielded by deliveries of Next Generation 737 family aircraft, of which Boeing delivered 440.  Boeing also launched several new aircraft, including the 777X and stretched versions of its flagship Dreamliner aircraft with the 787-9 and 787-10.  
The 777X launch at the Dubai Airshow was fueled by orders and agreements for 259 aircraft worth more than $95 billion at current list prices. The majority of those orders were placed by three of the biggest Middle East carriers, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates. Boeing expects Middle East airlines to continue placing major orders for its aircraft in 2014 and beyond as well, as the company is forecasting a $550 billion market in the region for 2,610 new aircraft over the next two decades. 
But 2013 wasn't all good news for Boeing's commercial aircraft division, as the company suffered a huge blow to its reputation as the world's top airframe manufacturer when civil aviation authorities grounded the worldwide fleet of in-service 787s for more than three months. The grounding occurred after Japan's two biggest airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) had to make several emergency landings due to problems with the 787's lithium-ion battery system. 
However, Boeing’s engineering team redesigned the system and eventually the 787 returned to service in late April; Boeing still went on to book 182 net orders for 787s in 2013. 
Now, with a location secured to build its 777X in Everett, Wash., plans to increase 737 production rates and the first delivery of the 787-9 scheduled for delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand later this year, Boeing seems poised for another big year in 2014. 

"The year ahead will be exciting as we prepare to deliver the first 787-9, continue the design work on our newest programs — the 737 MAX, 787-10 and 777X — while increasing our production rates on the 737," said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing's commercial airplanes division. 

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