Shortly after Supply Chain Matters published our commentary, Airbus Achieves 2021 Commercial Aircraft Delivery Milestone, rival Boeing disclosed its 2021 full year aircraft delivery and booked order performance.

Boeing delivered a total of 340 commercial aircraft in 2021, up from 157 delivered in 2020 when significant Covid-19 lockdowns impacted assembly and airline delivery plans. That was below the 611 delivered aircraft that Airbus reported for 2021. Similar to Airbus, the bulk of deliveries were in the single aisle category consisting of Boeing 737 Max family aircraft. As noted in our prior commentary, aircraft design and manufacturing issues have paused handovers of upwards of 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

There was good news on aircraft intake with the U.S. based manufacturer booking a total of 909 gross aircraft orders, with a net order total of 479 aircraft after adjustments. Airbus reported 771 gross orders in the same period with 264 cancellations.

Boeing’s total order backlog was reported as 4,250 aircraft as the close of 2021. That compared to Airbus’s considerably higher order backlog of 7,082 aircraft.

Both of these manufacturers must continue to manage respective industry supply networks that are continuing to deal with component material, lead time and skilled worker shortages. There are obvious opinions as to which of these manufacturer networks is in better shape to respond to market and airline industry changes that are forthcoming in the coming months.


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