Boeing 2021 deliveries surge, led by return of 737 Max, but still behind Airbus

FAA chief Steve Dickson flies a Boeing 737 MAX, from Boeing Field on September 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.
Mike Siegel | Getty Images

Boeing‘s sales and deliveries of new planes surged last year as customers looked beyond the pandemic’s toll on travel demand, but the manufacturer still ended 2021 behind chief rival Airbus.

Boeing handed over 340 jetliners to airlines and other buyers, up from 157 in 2020, it said Tuesday. That was led largely by the 737 Max, which regulators worldwide had grounded for nearly two years after a fatal crash in 2018 and another in 2019. Airbus said Monday that it delivered 611 planes last year, up 8% from 2020.

Chicago-based Boeing logged 909 gross orders for jets, more than 700 for the Max, while sales of freighters were another bright spot. That topped Airbus’ 771 gross commercial orders in 2021. Including cancellations, net orders totaled 479 but that rose to 535, including accounting adjustments, which adds or subtracts sales based on airline financial health or other factors.

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