Image source: Boeing
By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Boeing Co delivered about 60% fewer aircraft to customers in 2020 than 2019 and less than one-third the deliveries of rival Airbus, the lowest in 43 years, company data showed on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s snapshot of orders and deliveries caps a year in which a resurgent coronavirus pandemic and the tail-end of a 20-month 737 MAX grounding after fatal crashes prevented embattled airlines from adding new jets into their sidelined fleets.
Also, for a second month straight, Boeing handed over to customers zero 787 Dreamliners, as intensive inspections over recent production flaws compound delays from the COVID-19 crisis.
Jet deliveries are being closely scrutinized by investors as they generate much-needed cash during the coronavirus crisis.
Overall, the U.S. planemaker delivered 39 planes to customers in December, including 27 737 MAX jets, one P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and 11 widebodies, the company said. For the year, it delivered a total of 157 airplanes.
By comparison, Airbus posted stronger-than-expected deliveries of 566 jets in 2020, remaining the world’s largest planemaker.
Even so, deliveries at Airbus fell by 34% from a record posted a year earlier, when travel demand was riding high on the increasing mobility of consumers in fast-growing markets across Asia.
Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama.