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Airbus appears to be on track to overtake Boeing as the world’s top jet maker for the first time in seven years, based on delivery numbers released by the manufacturers on Tuesday.
Boeing’s deliveries slowed as the company continues to grapple with the grounding of its troubled 737 MAX. Regulators around the world barred the planes from flying in March after the second of two fatal crashes. Boeing has been unable to deliver any of the new planes since then, causing an overflow of undelivered MAXes at its facilities in Washington state as the manufacturer waits for the jet to be cleared to fly again.
Boeing has now delivered just 239 planes during the first half of 2019, a steep decline from the 378 it delivered during the same period in 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Airbus, meanwhile, has delivered 389 jets through the end of June, putting it on pace to for full-year delivery total of between 880 and 890 planes, Bloomberg News reports. Boeing had projected a 2019 delivery total of 895 to 905 planes, but with just 239 delivered so far it appears that the company will fall short of that total.
“The gap in deliveries”, Bloomberg writes, “suggests Airbus has strong chance of wrestling back the crown of world’s biggest planemaker in 2019 after a seven-year gap”.
In 2018, Boeing outpaced Airbus in deliveries by just six aircraft.
June also marked the third consecutive month that Boeing received no new firm orders for its 737 MAX.
The company did receive a boost at the Paris Air Show in June when International Airlines Group (IAG) — parent company of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus — announced a blockbuster deal for 200 of the jets.
However, that order – a letter of intent – does not yet appear on Boeing’s order book as a firm deal.
Featured image: An Airbus A319 of American Airlines and a Boeing 777 of Singapore Airlines at LAX Airport, March 2019 (Photo by Alberto Riva/TPG)
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