Boeing’s 2019 drop in commercial airplane deliveries a stark reversal from 2018

A380 in flight

Airbus delivered more commercial airplanes in 2019 than any year in its history while rival Boeing saw its deliveries plunge to an 11-year low.

Boeing delivered 380 commercial aircraft last year, its lowest annual total since 2008, when it delivered 375 planes. In 2018, Boeing delivered 806 aircraft, a record for the company.

Airbus delivered 863 aircraft in 2019, which was up from its record of 800 deliveries in 2018. As of July 1, 2018, Airbus began counting the A220 family in its totals. The A220 began life as the Bombardier C Series before the aircraft began being produced by a partnership between Airbus and Canadian manufacturer Bombardier.

The Boeing 737 MAX, the latest version of the company’s venerable 737 program, has been grounded worldwide since March as a result of two fatal accidents that have been tied to an automated flight control system that was not on previous models.

Boeing secured 246 new aircraft orders in 2019, but cancellations and conversions left it with just 54 net orders. On top of that, a revenue recognition accounting standard that Boeing adopted in early 2018 prevents it from counting an additional 141 aircraft in its backlog, leaving the company with a net deficit of 87 orders.

Boeing’s data shows total unfilled orders for 5,625 aircraft, but its backlog stands at 5,406 because of the accounting standard adjustment.

Airbus reported 768 net orders in 2019, up from 747 in 2018, and that its backlog stands at 7,482 aircraft.