MIAMI — Boeing reported delivering 181 airplanes in the second quarter of 2014, edging out rival Airbus by nineteen jets in the same time span.
The majority of Boeing’s deliveries came from its stalwart 737 program. The jet, which expanded production rates to 42 per month in March, accounted for 124 of the 181 total.
The company also says it delivered 30 787 Dreamliners, as it works toward its year-end goal of 110. The 777 program accounted for 24, while the 747-8 and 767 programs chocked up two and one jets, respectively.
Year to date, Boeing has delivered 342 airplanes. Going forward, if delivery trends continue, the company will send out roughly 684 jets in 2014. The figure would blow 2013’s record-setting 648 deliveries out of the water, but still fall short of the company’s stated goal of up to 725.
Last week’s train derailment in Montana stands to threaten that goal. The incident damaged six 737 fuselages, some severely, that were en route to Boeing’s Renton factory from a supplier in Wichita, Kansas, where they were manufactured. Based on current build rates of 42 jets per month, the incident represents 14% of current monthly production and roughly four days of work on the final assembly line.
Boeing and supplier Spirit AeroSystems, which is the exclusive provider of the frames, are working to figure out what comes next. The train was also carrying parts for the 777 and 747-8, though it is not known whether the parts sustained any damage. At the very least, the incident exposes supply chain vulnerabilities, and begs whether or not Boeing will consider diversifying the portfolio.
In better news, Boeing’s 787 numbers suggest that wing-cracking problems found in a number of production airplanes in the first quarter have largely been resolved (for now). But the problem caused deliveries to drop to only 18 in the first quarter, well below the 27.5 jets required per month to meet its goal. While Q2s performance makes up some lost ground, Boeing will still need to deliver at least 31 Dreamliners in the third and fourth quarters to reach the 110 mark.
The 777 continues to chug along at 8.3 jets per month, leading to a consistent delivery rate of between 21 and 25 jets for several quarters. The airplane still continues to face a likely production gap late in the decade ahead of the 777X, especially with the production rate remaining so high. Here’s hoping for some 777 classic orders next week in Farnborough.
Both the 767 and 747-8 deliveries continue to reflect programs largely considered in their twilight: no surprises here.
Meanwhile, rival aerospace manufacture Airbus delivered 162 jets in the second quarter. The tally includes 126 A320 family (-19/-20/-21) jets, 29 A330s, and seven A380 super-jumbo aircraft, according to company records. The company has delivered 303 airplanes so far in 2014, setting a pace that will not exceed 2013’s 626-jet record.