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Boeing deliveries top Airbus so far this year in spite of 787 problems

Ashley Gross

Boeing has topped Airbus in airplane deliveries so far this year in spite of the Dreamliner grounding that forced Boeing to stop delivering 787s for several months. 

The 787 grounding lasted three months, but it seems to have had little effect. Boeing kept producing new Dreamliners in Everett and in South Carolina during that time, then started handing them over to customers as soon as regulators gave the OK, with the newly-modified battery, of course.

Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia says it was a bold and risky move to keep the Dreamliner assembly lines humming.

"Boeing made a very aggressive bet," Aboulafia said. "They decided to keep production going even when it wasn’t really clear when the problem would be fixed and when certification would be provided again, but that bet is paying off."

Boeing has delivered 17 Dreamliners this year and 306 planes total. Airbus has handed over 295 planes.

Aboulafia says Boeing is still in a good position because Airbus’s next generation plane, the A350, won’t be ready for customers until late next year at the earliest. After that, he says it will become more of a race.

In the meantime, Boeing continues to hold the title of world’s biggest airplane maker.  

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.