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Boeing Quarterly Orders, Deliveries Up

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Boeing said on Thursday that first quarter commercial plane deliveries rose 8.5 percent as it ramps up production on the back of record orders in recent years.

The Chicago-based company, which vies with Europe's Airbus for dominance in the airliner market, delivered 115 commercial planes in the first three months of this year, up from 106 a year earlier.

Boeing flew 87 of its top-selling 737 single-aisle planes to customers around the world, along with four 747s, three mid-sized 767s and 21 of its larger 777s.

Airbus has not yet released data for the quarter. By the end of February, it had delivered 75 commercial planes.

Financial analysts watch deliveries closely because that is when manufacturers receive the bulk of payment for a plane.

Both Boeing and Airbus are looking to ramp up deliveries this year as they work their way through a record number of orders on their books.

Between them, Boeing and Airbus have sold 6,400 planes over the past three years, equal to results for the previous eight years, as demand for air travel rebounded from the decline prompted by the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Last year, Boeing took net orders for 1,413 planes worth about USD$170 billion at list prices, breaking its own annual order record for the third consecutive year and setting a record for the industry.

Despite warnings that the aerospace bubble is set to burst, Boeing has taken 288 orders so far this year, compared with 189 at the same time last year. Airbus had 341 net orders at the end of February.

(Reuters)

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