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Boeing deliveries rose in 2021 but still lag Airbus

NEW YORK (AFP) – Boeing delivered more than twice as many commercial planes in 2021 as the year earlier, but still lagged its archrival Airbus in the closely-watched industry benchmark, according to figures released on Tuesday.

The United States (US) aviation giant, benefitting from the return of its 737 MAX jet in most leading markets, delivered 340 planes last year, up from 157 in 2020.

But that level is still below Airbus’ 611 deliveries in 2021. Deliveries are tied to company revenues and closely monitored by investors.

The figures are the latest to point to Boeing’s partial recovery from both the lengthy grounding of its 737 MAX model following two fatal crashes, and the downturn in the commercial plane business during Covid-19 that halted many new plane orders for more than a year.

Boeing executives have said they expect passenger traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 or 2024, and for the company to recover its long-term growth trends a few years after that.

A line of Boeing 777X jets parked nose-to-tail on a runway at Paine Field, near Boeing’s massive production facility in Everett, Washington. PHOTO: AP
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