Airbus had been trailing behind Boeing for quite a long time but surpassed it in 2019 to deliver a record aircraft of 863 that year.

Last year was almost a nightmare for most of the global companies, mostly those in the airline industry. However, some were able to rise above the pandemic to do well on all fronts. Airbus SE (EPA: AIR), being one of such companies, managed to beat its target to deliver over 560 aircrafts in 2020, which we will remember as the COVID-19 infested year. This put it in stiff competition with rival Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) and on course to be the world’s largest planemaker for two successive years.

Airbus will announce its total orders and delivery in 2020 in the coming days as they refused to comment on this before the official publication.

The reported delivery of 560 aircraft was revealed from airline industry sources and tracking devices. Regardless of beating its target, the total number of deliveries is expected to fall by a third due to the global pandemic that forced restrictions on air travel. Airbus had been trailing behind Boeing for quite a long time but surpassed it in 2019 to deliver a record aircraft of 863 in that year. Boeing on the other hand had recorded 345 deliveries as of November. This put it on course to record its worst performance for more than a decade according to a report. 

Fierce Competition that Happened between Airbus and Boeing before 2020

Boeing’s worst performance recently is linked to the 157 people who lost their lives in a fatal crash in Ethiopia with their Boeing 737 Max Jet grounded since March 2019. Before this incident, the MAX had crashed to claim the lives of 189 people in the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia. The company had lost about $9 billion as of January 2019 according to reports. 

The company’s single-aisle 737 MAX had since its introduction become their best selling plane ever with about 5000 orders and 350 planes registered in the registered year under review. This represented 80% of their commercial aircraft order backlog and 60% by value. Airbus was already on top of its performance ahead of Boeing until Boeing took over in 2012. However, this has changed. 

According to the report, Airbus had an initial plan of finishing 2019 with a total delivery of 890 aircraft by the end of the year. However, they trimmed the total expected delivery in October to 860 due to what they claimed to be production issues. 

Boeing on the other hand forecasted 900 deliveries but was forced to suspend it with the grounding of its MAX. The annual order battle is expected to be won by airbus according to reports. 

In 2019, 719 net orders were logged between January and November for Airbus compared to the negative 84 for Boeing. Interestingly, Boeing recorded a higher number of order cancellations than orders made. Boeing, despite its woes, led Airbus in wide-body and larger planes. 224 wide-body planes were delivered by Boeing compared to the 147 by Airbus. 

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Airbus Beats Expectation and Delivers Over 560 Aircrafts in 2020

by Tracy Mitchell
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