Boeing seen beating Airbus on 2012 deliveries

US plane maker delivers 601 aircraft, performance boosted by Middle East orders

Boeing booked 1,203 net commercial airplane orders in 2012, the second-largest number in company history.

The company also delivered 601 airplanes, the most since 1999, while its unfilled commercial airplane orders at the end of the year stood at 4,373, the most in company history.

Boeing's tally of 601 planes delivered puts it ahead of rival Airbus' stated target of 580 deliveries for the year although official Airbus figures won't be announced until January 17.

The year ended with 11 787 Dreamliner deliveries in December to seven customers including Qatar Airways. To date, 49 787s have been delivered to eight customers.

"Our employees rose to the challenge of executing several production rate increases in 2012 — a truly remarkable performance," said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"Increasing our deliveries by 26 percent allowed us to put more airplanes into the hands of our customers and grow our customer base by offering the best products and services."

Boeing's 737 programme broke the record for orders for any Boeing model in a single year, accumulating 1,124 net orders, the US plane maker said in a statement.

The 777, which totalled 83 deliveries in 2012 and surpassed 1,000 since launch, won 68 net orders, Boeing added.

"As we look ahead to 2013, we're focused on meeting our customer commitments by increasing production rates and delivering high-quality, reliable products and services," said Conner.

"We will also transition the 787-9 into production and flight test and work closely with customers, who contribute so much to our success, to continue defining the 787-10X and 777X."

Boeing said in November that it expects to double revenue from its defence and security business in the Middle East over the next two years.

The US planemaker, which also makes fighter jets, helicopters and anti-missile technology, expects to increase its annual revenue from defence in the region to about $4bn over the next two years.

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