January 06, 2014
Credit: Michael Mecham
Buoyed by the highest production rates ever achieved on the 737, 777 and 787 lines, Boeing delivered a record-breaking 648 commercial aircraft in 2013.
The 737 made up the bulk of the year’s deliveries with 440 units produced, while the 777 program, which reached a new rate of 8.3 aircraft per month in January 2013, notched up 98 deliveries. The 787 also made a late run with 65 deliveries for the year.
The number matches expectations which were revised downward from the late 2012 estimates of around 74 787 deliveries for the year following the battery problems that hit the aircraft early in 2013.
The uptick in deliveries marks the second successive push into 600-plus territory for the company this century. In 2012 Boeing delivered 601 which was the most in a single year since 1999. In comparison the manufacturer delivered 477 in 2011 and 460 in 2010.
Boosted by a late flurry of business last year net orders for 2013 also climbed to 1,355, compared with 1,203 in 2012 and 805 in 2011. The 737 program received 1,046 orders and now has an unfilled backlog of 3,680, while the 777 was bolstered by 113 net new orders to take the backlog to 380. This latter figure is expected to grow in 2014 as commitments and options for the newly-launched 777X are converted into firm contracts. The aircraft was launched at the Dubai Airshow in November 2013 on the back of agreements for 259, not all of which are reflected in the firm order book for 2013.
The 787 backlog also climbed to 916, largely due to the launch last year of the 787-10 double stretch version. Overall orders for the 787 also passed the 1,000 mark in 2013 with an agreement from Etihad Airways for 30 787-10s that was also announced at Dubai.
Boeing’s undelivered commercial backlog currently stands at a record 5,080. The number eclipses 2012’s backlog of 4,373 which was itself a record number at the time, and reflects primarily the growth in high volume business for the 737 MAX program as well as the hefty undelivered order backlog of the 787 family. The growth in backlog is also highlighted by comparisons with the same figures for 2011 and 2010 which were 3,771 and 3,443 respectively.