Thursday, April 04, 2013

Boeing Deliveries Are Flat: WSJ

April 4, 2013, 12:53 p.m. ET
The Wall Street Journal

Boeing Co.  said Thursday its deliveries of commercial aircraft were flat with a year earlier in the first quarter, during which its new 787 aircraft was grounded globally.

The company delivered just one 787 Dreamliner during the quarter. The entire 787 fleet was ordered out of service by regulators in mid-January because of problems with the aircraft's lithium-ion battery.

Boeing delivered 137 aircraft in the first quarter, the same as the year-earlier period though up from 128 deliveries in last year's fourth quarter.

The first-quarter tally included 102 of the company's 737 next-generation planes, up from 99 a year earlier.

Total deliveries exceeded the expectations of brokerage firm Sterne Agee, which ahead of Thursday report lowered its estimate to 128 aircraft deliveries. The firm said it remained positive about Boeing, noting that orders for twin-aisle aircraft should pick up with the expected launch of an improved version of Boeing's 777 jet.

Boeing in January forecast 2013 commercial deliveries would hit a record 635 to 645 aircraft.

Last year, Boeing delivered 601 commercial jets, its highest output in more than a decade as it regained its crown as the world's largest producer of jets, topping the Airbus unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.  The total included 46 of its 787 Dreamliners, a jet that Boeing has struggled to deliver in higher numbers after years of production and design delays.

In the single first-quarter delivery of a Dreamliner, the plane was actually handed over to Air India prior to the global fleet's grounding, but wasn't confirmed as delivered until last month "pending completion of certain items," Boeing spokesman Wilson Chow said in an emailed statement.

—Jon Ostrower contributed to this article.


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