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Boeing’s aircraft deliveries are up 9% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2018, the company said Tuesday. The production increase was due in large part to higher demand for the company’s 737 aircraft.
In Q1 of 2018 that ended in March, Boeing delivered 184 commercial airplanes, 132 of which were new single-aisle 737s. Boeing is also well ahead of its main rival Airbus in net aircraft orders. In Q1, Boeing marked 221 net aircraft orders, while competitor Airbus only booked 45 orders.
The higher delivery rate is a spot of good news amid a cloud of ominous questions about the effects of a looming trade war between the US and China, which would likely put Boeing in its crosshairs.
First, President Donald Trump announced at the end of March that he would be slapping a $60 billion tariff on Chinese goods, including aluminum used to build airplanes, and Boeing’s stock had its worst month on the market in two years.
Then, China retaliated by setting $50 billion in its own tariffs on 106 US goods, including “aircraft and other aircraft with an empty weight of more than 15,000 kg but not exceeding 45,000 kg [about 16.5 to 49.6 tons].” Boeing’s stock dropped again, mainly because the airplane manufacturer makes a significant amount of sales in China. At the end of 2017, it signed a deal to sell 300 planes worth $37 billion to a Chinese aviation group. Experts predicted that the tariff would affect the 737 MAX 7 aircraft, but it wasn’t clear if the weight requirement detailed in the tariff documents would also apply to the slightly larger 737 MAX 8 aircraft as well.
Boeing also weathered a cyberattack at the end of March. The crippling WannaCry virus infiltrated the manufacturer’s systems and targeted equipment that produces its 777 aircraft, 12 of which Boeing delivered in the first quarter of 2018. Boeing later said it was able to contain the virus and keep damage to a minimum.
Featured image by Scott Olson/Getty Images.
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