Airbus has come out on top in the 2021 end of year delivery results, reporting almost double of what its American competitor Boeing announced.
Airbus reported 611 deliveries in 2021, an 8 per cent increase from the previous year, and Boeing reported 340 deliveries.
While Boeing trailed behind, much of its success compared to 2020 came from the return of the 737 MAX, now approved to fly across its most lucrative markets after over two years of groundings.
“Our commercial aircraft achievements in 2021 reflect the focus and resilience of our Airbus teams, customers, suppliers and stakeholders across the globe who pulled together to deliver remarkable results,” said the European planemaker’s chief executive officer Guillaume Faury.
“The year saw significant orders from airlines worldwide, signaling confidence in the sustainable growth of air travel post-COVID.”
He said the company is “on track” to increase production in 2022 and invest further in transforming a decarbonised aviation industry.
While Airbus’ deliveries were unmatched compared to Boeing, the latter saw a significant increase from 2020 when the planemaker had reported only 157 deliveries.
The US planemaker’s deliveries, although improved in 2021, were plagued by the continuous impacts of the pandemic and the delays of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which have faced countless manufacturing faults.
Compared to 2020 when the company delivered 41 787 Dreamliners, Boeing only delivered 14 in 2021.
While both companies aim to reach pre-pandemic levels of deliveries amid the crisis, Boeing and Airbus have seen a strong rebound of customer demand reflected in surging orders.
Airbus said it doubled its order intake compared to the previous year with 771 gross orders – 507 net orders after cancellations – across all market segments to 29 customers.
But Boeing claimed the title of highest seller in 2021, seeing a boom of 909 gross orders (535 net orders after cancellations).
However, this may not be the final number as Airbus secured a flurry of late deals in December from Qantas and Air France-KLM. The company said it would disclose final orders in late January based on potential cancellations.
Boeing’s 737 MAX jets remained the company’s biggest seller, parallel to Airbus’ A320 family.
While Boeing has seemingly won the race of highest seller, Airbus still remained the world’s largest planemaker, claiming the crown for the third year in a row.
Boeing said it would provide a detailed fourth quarter analysis on 26 January.