Boeing surrenders its crown to Airbus

17 January 2020 | Blog Post

Boeing officially lost its title as world’s largest plane manufacturer after reporting its lowest annual orders in more than two decades.

The Chicago-based manufacturer delivered 54 net orders, adjusting for cancellation in 2019, compared with 893 in 2018. Airbus delivered a record 863 planes in 2019 and scooped up 768 orders.

The only glimmer of hope for Boeing was the strong numbers for the 787 Dreamliner, which reported 45 deliveries.

This demotion comes as the fallout continues from the grounding of the 737 Max, Boeing’s best-selling airliner, in March 2019. Since the grounding, Boeing has undergone management changes with Denis Muilenburg being replaced by David Calhoun as Boeing CEO.

Similarly, documents published as part of the current federal investigation into the crashes have revealed the level of deception of not just regulators and customers but also Boeing’s suppliers too.

Emails reported in the US media have shown that Boeing employees were aware of faults in the MACS system that was identified as the cause of the two crashes in 2019.

It’s not just Boeing that has suffered from the grounding, with some of Boeing’s key suppliers feeling the pinch too.

Spirit Aero Systems, Boeing’s largest supplier (and the cause of past supply chain woes) announced that it will lay off 20% of its staff from its facility in Wichita, Kansas.

The task for the Boeing’s new CEO to try and return Boeing to number one will be difficult.

Airbus’s total jet deliveries were estimated to be worth $60 billion compared with Boeing’s $42 billion, based on market pricing estimates from Avitas, an aircraft valuation firm.

Similarly, Airbus leads Boeing in the production orders too with a backlog of 7,482 planes on a 10-year production backlog compared with Boeing’s 5,406.


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