Boeing Sets Jet Delivery Record

By Doug CameronFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Boeing Co. said it delivered a record 763 jetliners in 2017 and secured net orders for 912 planes, as surging airline traffic continues to fuel a multiyear boom for the airline industry.

The increased orders and deliveries highlight Boeing's ability to boost production while introducing new aircraft models, trends that have improved the aerospace giant's cash flow and profits and sent its stock price to new highs. Boeing shares have almost doubled over the past year, and the stock was up 1.6% Tuesday at $315.

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Boeing and rival Airbus SE have backlogs stretching for six or seven years, and investors are increasingly focused on deliveries and cash flow rather than new plane deals, analysts said.

Boeing's 763 deliveries last year compare to 748 in 2016 and 762 in 2015. Boeing is set to boost monthly production of its best-selling 737 jet by five planes to 52 this year and then by another five in 2019. It is also raising monthly output of the 787 Dreamliner to 14 from 12.

Boeing and Airbus are also pressuring suppliers for better terms, moving some production tasks in house to save money and boosting automation. Boeing has increased production by about a third since 2010 while also cutting the workforce at its commercial aircraft unit by around a third.

The Chicago-based company delivered 529 single-aisle 737 jets -- including 74 of the new Max model -- and 136 Dreamliners, as well as 74 of the 777 planes that are due to be superseded by a new model from 2020. The remainder were 14 Boeing 747 jumbo jets and 10 freighter versions of the 767.

Airbus is due to release its 2017 order numbers next week.

Write to Doug Cameron at doug.cameron@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 09, 2018 11:51 ET (16:51 GMT)