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Boeing tops rival Airbus in airliner deliveries, new orders

Boeing's 737 MAX 7 is seen flying over Seattle. (Photo credit: The Boeing Co.)

SEATTLE - The Boeing Co. set a new annual record of 806 new aircraft deliveries in 2018, surpassing its previous record of 763 deliveries set just the year before and edging out rival Airbus, which delivered 800 commercial aircraft last year.

Even as Boeing produced more jetliners, the company again expanded its backlog of orders to 893 - including 203 aircraft sales in December alone.

That also beat Europe-based Airbus, which announced it had 747 orders at year's end.

"Our production discipline and our supplier partners helped us build and deliver more airplanes than ever before to satisfy the strong demand for air travel across the globe," said Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO.

With a seven-year order backlog, Boeing increased production of the popular 737 in the middle of 2018 to 52 airplanes per month. Nearly half of the year's 580 deliveries were from the more fuel-efficient and longer-range 737 MAX family.

At the same time, Boeing continued to build the 787 Dreamliner at the highest production rate for a twin-aisle airplane to support high demand for the super-efficient jet. The Dreamliner program finished with 145 deliveries for the year.

Deliveries of various 777, 767 and 747-8 models rounded out the total of 806 airplanes for the year.

Boeing's backlog of 893 net orders is valued at $143.7 billion according to list prices. While growing the order backlog for nearly every program, the company showed particular strength in the twin-aisle category with 218 widebody orders last year.

Both Boeing and Airbus are riding strong demand from airlines reporting strong travel demand.

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