Boeing retains top spot in aircraft deliveries in 2013

US aircraft giant Boeing Inc has retained the top position in commercial aircraft deliveries for the second consecutive year, beating European rival Airbus SAS despite facing a hard time due to problems with its advanced 787 Dreamliner airplane.

The aircraft manufacturer delivered a record 648 aircraft to its customers worldwide in 2013, a 7.8-per cent increase over the previous year, while its rival Airbus aimed to supply 620 planes last year.

However, according to industry sources, Boeing lost its position in new orders to its rival.

Boeing's gross orders, excluding cancellations, during 2013 hit a record 1,531 passenger jets in 2013 with net orders reaching 1,355.

The company's unfulfilled commercial orders also stood at a record 5,080 at the end of the year.

Airbus is believed to have crossed Boeing in net orders although details have not been revealed yet. According to some estimates, the company has secured 1,471 gross orders and 1,412 net orders, reflecting strong demand for its A320 single aisle and A350 twin aisle aircraft.

Airbus' final figures for last year are expected to but out during the third week of January.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner said "With solid execution on our numerous production rate increases, the Boeing team performed extremely well in 2013."

"We delivered more advanced, fuel-efficient airplanes to our customers than ever before, and it's a great example of what our team can accomplish," he further stated.

Boeing 787 was grounded in January across the world due to fire in batteries, the first of its type in 34 years. The planes were later pessed into service three months later with a revamped Lithium-Ion battery system.

In 2013, the company increased its Dreamliner production and delivered 65 aircraft which is also a record, up from 46 in the previous year.

Other aircraft which also set record deliveries in 2013 include the single aisle NextGen 737s and the twin aisle 777s with 440 and 92 deliveries respectively.

Last year the aircraft maker launched two new models: The 777X launched in November at the Dubai air show and the 787-10 Dreamliner which is claimed to be the most fuel-efficient jetliner in history, at the Paris air show in June.

"The year ahead will be exciting as we prepare to deliver the first 787-9, continue the design work on our newest programs – the 737 MAX, 787-10 and 777X – while increasing our production rates on the 737," Conner said.