Boeing Delivered a Record Number of Jets in 2017, Beats Airbus
Boeing is reporting that the company delivered a record number of aircraft in 2017, leading stock prices to jump after the company's announcement, with shares at $320.26 as of Wednesday's close (Boeing's overall share price doubled in 2017). The Chicago-based manufacturer said it handed over 763 jetliners last year — 15 more deliveries than in 2016 — with orders for 912 more currently in the pipeline.
In addition, Boeing beat its main rival, Airbus, by a large margin for the sixth year in a row. With a struggling A380 program, Airbus delivered 703 aircraft last year — a 2 percent increase in 2016 numbers for the company.
What's most exciting for Boeing is the massive increase in orders alone: 250 more than in 2016. Narrow-body jets make up the lion's share of these: 529 737s (with 74 being the new MAX model), 136 787 Dreamliners, 74 wide-body 777s, 14 double-decker 747s and 10 cargo hauling 767s.
In order to meet demand, Boeing will increase production levels, pumping out five more 737s and two more 787s in 2018. And, the company plans to do so with less employees on the payroll than ever before; the Wall Street Journal estimates that today it takes 94 workers per jet, whereas in 2011 it took nearly 175.
Currently Boeing says it's at an all-time high in backlog, with 5,864 airplanes to be built. And even with the demise of airlines like Air Berlin and Monarch, the number of order cancellations and deferrals is the lowest its ever been. Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president for marketing, told the Wall Street Journal that Boeing had 71 customers in 2017, with 40% of orders coming from Asia. Tinseth predicts that air passenger traffic could grow as much as 6% in 2018.