Airbus Delivers Record Number of Commercial Aircraft as Boeing Stumbles

Airbus delivers a record 863 commercial aircraft to 99 customers in 2019.
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Airbus  (EADSY) delivered a record 863 commercial aircraft to 99 customers in 2019, beating its previous output record set in 2018 by 8% as rival Boeing (BA) - Get Report continued to struggle from the fallout of the grounding of its 737 MAX jet.

Boeing is scheduled to report production results next week. The American aerospace giant has struggled after its 737 MAX was grounded in March following two deadly crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

Airbus posted a total of 1,131 new orders. Net orders reached 768, up from 747 in 2018 and took Airbus' overall historical cumulative net orders over 20,000, the company said.

Airbus' delivery results means it passes Boeing as the world's biggest planemaker.

Airbus had initially targeted 880 deliveries across its jetliner range for 2019, but cut 20 planes from the total in October as its plants fell behind schedule.

Cancellations of 363 reflect specific airline situations in 2019 as well as the decision to end A380 production. At the turn of the year, Airbus’ backlog stood at 7,482 aircraft, the company said.

The A320 family of short to medium aircraft reported 654 net orders, including the A321XLR, the largest variant of the A320 family, which was introduced at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

Last month, United Airlines (UAL) - Get Report said it will replace its existing fleet of Boeing 757s with the Airbus A321XLR.

The new planes will be delivered starting in 2024, a move that the carrier said will enable it to explore serving additional destinations in Europe from its East Coast hubs in Newark/New York and Washington.

Boeing's troubles with the 737 MAX have spread beyond the company. On Friday, Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) - Get Report, Boeing's biggest supplier, said it plans to lay off more than 20% of the workforce at its Wichita, Kan., base, as it responds to fallout from the grounding of the 737 MAX jet.