With Boeing production stalled, Airbus remains No. 1 jet maker

Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times on

Published in Business News

Domestic flying produced packed aircraft in the U.S. And bilateral agreements began to tentatively open limited international routes that had been effectively closed by travel restrictions, including some transatlantic routes.

Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said the partial recovery last year, following the steep downturn when the pandemic shut down air travel early in 2020, provides "confidence in the sustainable growth of air travel post-COVID."

"While uncertainties remain, we are on track to lift production through 2022," Faury said in a statement.

In 2021 sales, both rivals might claim victory

For Airbus and Boeing, the key sign of recovery is new jet orders. On that score, it was unclear which manufacturer came out on top in 2021. It depends which numbers you choose to count.

Boeing claimed 535 net orders for the year, ahead of the 507 for Airbus.


However, that Boeing tally included 56 orders that were not new. They were orders removed from the official backlog in 2020 when the downturn left airlines short of financing.

Under standard accounting rules, those orders were then too uncertain to be counted as firm. When financing was secured in 2021, those orders were restored.

Airbus could argue that it had more net new orders last year, 507 to 479 for Boeing.

Boeing argues that when those uncertain orders were removed they were counted as losses, and so now should be counted as gains in the recovery.


swipe to next page
©2022 The Seattle Times. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.