Boeing says it delivered a record 763 aircraft in calendar 2017 amid strong demand for its 737 and 787 product lines.
The figure is within previously issued guidance of 760-765 commercial aircraft deliveries for the year and 15 aircraft higher compared with the 748 deliveries in calendar 2016.
Further, the result also eclipsed Boeing’s previous record for deliveries of 762 aircraft, reached in 2015.
“The record-setting performance is a testament to our employees and supplier partners who continue to innovate new ways to design, build and deliver the most fuel-efficient airplanes to customers around the world,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Kevin McAllister said in a statement on Tuesday (US time).
“The strong sales activity reflects continuing strong demand for the 737 MAX family, including the ultra-efficient MAX 10 variant that we launched last year, and the market’s increasing preference for Boeing’s family of twin-aisle jets.
“Our planned production increases over the coming years are designed to satisfy this robust demand.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth noted it was the sixth consecutive year Boeing has outdelivered its rival Airbus.
“You’ve heard me say it before—deliveries matter. It’s the true measure of success, and we nailed it once again in 2017 at the same time we went up on 737 production rate and introduced the MAX,” Tinseth wrote in his blog on the Boeing website.
Looking ahead, Boeing planned to raise the production rate of its 737 narrowbody program from 47 aircraft a month currently to 52 a month in 2018 and 57 a month in 2019.
The airframer has also previously indicated the production rate of its 787 widebody was due to increase to 14 aircraft a month in 2019. This would be the highest ever production rate for a widebody program.
Meanwhile, Boeing said it secured 912 net orders in 2017, representing a a book-to-bill ratio of 1.2 and a 37 per cent increase from 668 net orders in the prior corresponding period.
Further, Boeing said its total backlog of 5,864 airplanes was equivalent to about seven years of production.
Milestones in the year ahead included first delivery of the 787-10 to launch customer Singapore Airlines expected in the second quarter of 2018, as well as the rollout of the first 737 MAX 7 test aircraft and first delivery of the 737 MAX 9.
Tinseth said that with passenger traffic growing faster than anticipated and at above long-term trend, the industry “really showed its strength” in 2017 and he expected more of the same in the current year.
“As we look ahead to 2018, we and IATA (International Air Transport Association) expect to once again see passenger traffic grow above historic trend,” Tinseth said.
“The airlines continue to be profitable, making more money over the past three years than the previous 30 years combined.”
Airbus is expected to release its totals for calendar 2017 later in January.
Boeing orders and deliveries summary for calendar 2017