Airbus has become the world’s largest Airplane maker for the first time since 2011 after delivering a forecast-beating 863 aircraft in 2019, leaving behind it’s U.S. rival Boeing.
A reversal in the order between the two giants had been expected as a crisis over Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX drags into 2020. But the record European data further describes that a long distance Boeing must travel to recoup its market position.
Airbus deployed extra resources until hours before midnight to reach 863 aircraft for the year, compared with its revised target of 860 jets. Deliveries rose 7.9 % from 800 aircraft in 2018. But the company was forced by its own industrial problems to cut its 2019 delivery goal by 2-3% in October.
Airbus’s tally, which included around 640 single-aisle aircraft, broke industry records after it diverted thousands of workers and canceled holidays to complete a buffer stock of semi-finished aircraft waiting to have their cabins adjusted.
Airbus has been hit by delays in fitting the complex new layouts on A321 Neo jets assembled in Hamburg, Germany, resulting in dozens of these and other models being stored in hangars to await last-minute configurations and the arrival of more labor.
Such out-of-sequence work drives up costs and could have a modest impact on Airbus profit margins, but the impact will be largely blunted by the high volume of planes and already solid profitability for such single-aisle aircraft, analysts say.
Boeing delivered 345 mainly long-haul jets between January and November, less than half the number of 704 achieved in the same period of 2018, when the MAX was being delivered normally. For the whole of 2018, Boeing had delivered 806 aircraft.