With the Boeing crisis, Airbus’s leadership in the commercial aviation market was already expected. But not a possible delivery record, as Reuters said, citing exclusive sources.
According to the news agency, Airbus reportedly delivered 863 aircraft last year, compared with 800 aircraft in 2018. If that year, the European manufacturer lagged behind Boeing, which delivered 806 units, in 2019 the victory was overwhelming. The total number of aircraft delivered by the US company is not yet known, but partial numbers until November indicated only 345 jets.
The low volume has a known cause, the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX, which is about to have its assembly line suspended. While awaiting regulatory approval to return the jet, the manufacturer has produced about 400 units. If these aircraft were added to the aircraft already delivered, it shows that Boeing could have surpassed the 800 aircraft milestone last year had the problem not occurred.
Effort to beat the record
Even with its shaken rival, Airbus set a goal to break the record. Despite struggling on the Hamburg assembly line, the company encouraged employees to work overtime and during holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve, to complete semi-finished aircraft awaiting final adjustments to the passenger cabins.
The European group had not been in the first position since 2011. Of the 863 aircraft delivered by Airbus in 2019, about 640 units correspond to single-aisle aircraft (A220 and A320 family jets). Boeing, meanwhile, has not delivered such an aircraft since March last year, when the 737 MAX was banned from flying after two fatal accidents.