The combination of Airbus deliveries increasing 28% for the first half of 2019 and Boeing deliveries falling 38% for the same period will likely see Airbus take over the crown of the world’s biggest plane maker by the end of the year, reversing the trend of the past eight years.
Boeings reversal of fortune rests predominantly on the grounding of the 737 MAX jet after the fatal Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes with the likelihood that any further deliveries will not take place until December. According to Reuters news agency, for the first six months of the year Airbus delivered 389 aircraft and despite problems at its Hamburg, Germany plant, it is maintaining its published guidance for total 2019 deliveries at between 880 and 890 aircraft.
However, Boeing still remains ahead of Airbus when it comes to wide-body jets. Despite posting net orders for 123 narrow-body jets, which includes the new A321 XLR which debuted at the Paris Air Show in June, Airbus had a negative net order book of 35 wide-body jets after taking into account cancelations.
Boeing posted a negative total of 180 narrow-body jets ordered for the first half of 2019 after cancelations mainly for the 737 MAX, but posted a positive total of 61 orders for wide-body jets after cancelations. Boeing’s figures do not include a surprise boost to the beleaguered 737 MAX program with the signing of a letter of intent at the Paris Air Show to purchase 200 737 MAXs by IAG, owner of British Airways.