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Airbus Is the Word’s Largest Jet Builder for the Third Year in a Row

CEO Guillaume Faury says the company is on track to lift production through 2022.

Airbus Commercial Fleet Sylvain Ramadier/Airbus

Airbus has been crowned the world’s largest jet maker, again.

The reigning King of the Skies, which now holds the title for three years running, delivered a total of 611 passenger jets to 88 customers in 2021, according to company data released Monday. That’s an increase of 8 percent compared to 2020, which saw 566 Airbus jets delivered to customers.

The aerospace giant appears to have comfortably eclipsed its main US rival Boeing in terms of revenue-generating deliveries, too. Boeing, which is scheduled to report 2021 deliveries and orders on Tuesday, handed over a comparatively modest 302 jets in the first 11 months of last year, according to Reuters.

Airbus, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, managed to double its order intake compared to 2020. It sold 771 airplanes last year for a net total of 507 after subtracting cancellations. The company also said it ended 2021 with a backlog of 7,082 aircraft on order.

Airbus A380 jumbo jet

The majority of last year’s deliveries were from the A380 fleet.  AP

More than three-quarters of last year’s deliveries were for planes in the Airbus A320 family, which are single-aisle aircraft predominately used for short- or medium-haul flights. The demand for bigger, wide-body planes, meanwhile, continued to lag due to a lack of international flights.

“Our commercial aircraft achievements in 2021 reflect the focus and resilience of our Airbus teams, customers, suppliers and stakeholders across the globe who pulled together to deliver remarkable results,” ​​Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in a statement. “The year saw significant orders from airlines worldwide, signaling confidence in the sustainable growth of air travel post-Covid.”

Although this is good news for Airbus, the numbers are still well below the pre-pandemic level. In 2019, Airbus delivered some 863 planes. Still, Faury expects Airbus to raise production rates through this year.

“While uncertainties remain, we are on track to lift production through 2022 to meet our customers’ requirements,” the CEO added. “At the same time, we are preparing the future of aviation, transforming our industrial capabilities and implementing the roadmap for decarbonization.”

Airbus will post its full 2021 financial results on February 17.

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