Airbus has claimed the top spot in plane deliveries for 2019, managing a record delivery of 863 aircraft.
Since 2012, the top spot has been religiously held by the firm’s US rival, Boeing.
Airport and tracking sources attribute this shift in gears to the worldwide grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes in March last year. The grounding followed two similar crashes of the 737, that left scores dead.
As of now, no airline is yet to lift the ban, even as Boeing announced planned to halt production of the 737 Max, with effect from this year.
See Also: Boeing to Halt 737 Max Production
As reported by Reuters, Airbus deliveries rose from 800 in 2018, signifying a 7.9% increase.
On the flip side, Boeing only managed 345 jet deliveries in 2019, down from 806 in 2018.
The broader picture, therefore, points at Airbus inking great profit margins. However, analysts argue that these margins may be derailed by last-minute costs incurred in fitting the complex new layouts on A321 neo (new engine option) jets.
The A321 is the extended version of Airbus’ successful A320 short- and medium-haul passenger aircraft. The A321 neo is also equipped with the modern engine configuration known as the “new engine option”. The kit is distinguished by its detailed undercarriage, which allows the model to be presented standing on the ground.
The similarly A321neo variant offers new, more efficient, engines, combined with airframe improvements and the addition of winglets (called Sharklets by Airbus). The aircraft delivers fuel savings of up to 15%. The A321neo carries up to 240 passengers, with a maximum range of 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) for the long-range version when carrying no more than 206 passengers.
Final assembly of the aircraft takes place in Hamburg, Germany, or Mobile, Alabama.