Airbus and Boeing reported their full-year 2021 commercial aircraft deliveries this week, with both of the manufacturers seeing increases over 2020 delivery activity. Both OEMs plan on providing more details in press conferences scheduled to occur over the next month.
The reported delivery total for Airbus includes 611 commercial aircraft to 88 customers last year, up from 566 in 2020. According to a Jan. 10 announcement from the French airplane maker, Airbus completed 483 total A320 family deliveries last year and also more than doubled its gross order intake compared to 2020 with "771 new sales (507 net)."
Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer, described the 2021 results as a year that "saw significant orders from airlines worldwide, signaling confidence in the sustainable growth of air travel post-COVID. While uncertainties remain, we are on track to lift production through 2022 to meet our customers’ requirements."
The company also notes that 25% of its commercial aircraft were transported to airlines through the "e-Delivery" process that uses a new electronic Transfer-of-Title and ferry flight approach introduced by Airbus in 2020 to reduce the need for airlines to travel to receive newly manufactured aircraft. Air Lease Corporation also became the launch customer of the A350 Freighter—the air cargo variant of the A350 introduced by Airbus last year—during the Dubai Air Show in November.
Airbus published this infographic showing its order and delivery activity last year along with its 2021 results. (Airbus)
At the end of 2021, the Airbus commercial aircraft order backlog stood at 7,082 aircraft.
Boeing's 2021 delivery total of 340 commercial aircraft more than doubled the 157 that the company delivered in 2020, reflecting a staggered lifting of the 737 MAX grounding by civil aviation regulators internationally.
The results reflect the COVID-19 recovery period both companies went through in 2021, a year where Boeing was also able to re-start deliveries of its 737 MAX to airlines in countries that lifted bans on the model. 2021 deliveries reported by Boeing come following a significant fleet order win by the company last week by all-Airbus fleet operator Allegiant Air for up to 100 total 737 MAX aircraft.
One issue that remains unresolved for Boeing is the temporary suspension of 787 Dreamliner deliveries enacted in July when deliveries were halted due to a manufacturing issue associated with some components of the aircraft located in the forward pressure bulkhead and within sections of the fuselage. Only 14 total 787s were delivered last year, compared to 41 in 2020, with Boeing still un-determined on a re-start date for the 105 Dreamliners currently sitting in inventory awaiting the suspension to be lifted.
According to a report published Tuesday by The Associated Press, the Chicago-based company reported a total of 479 net orders in 2021, slightly lagging behind the 507 recorded by Airbus after both accounted for order cancellations.