U.S. aerospace and defense giant Boeing delivered a record number of jets in 2018 – maintaining its reign as the world’s largest planemaker for the seventh year in a row and sending shares higher during Tuesday’s trading session.
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On Tuesday, Boeing said it delivered 806 aircraft last year, including 580 737 Max jets. The previous record – set last year – was 763 deliveries.
The planemaker delivered 69 737 jets in December alone, despite a public investigation into the Lion Air crash involving a Boeing 737 Max 8.
The 737 Max family surpassed 5,000 net orders in December, including 181 new sales during the month.
Boeing said it actually increased production of the 737 during the middle of 2018 to 52 airplanes per month and has a seven-year backlog of orders.
Overall, Boeing saw 893 net orders valued at $143.7 billion, the company said.
Experts have worried about the effects of an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China on the planemaker, which relies heavily on the Chinese market. Boeing is the biggest U.S. exporter – and China accounts for about 25 percent of overall deliveries.
Despite setting a new record, Boeing still fell short of expectations for deliveries between 810 and 815 jets in 2018, as noted by Reuters.
In December, Indonesian airline Lion Air threatened to cancel all of its remaining orders for Boeing jets in the wake of a deadly October crash where 189 people were killed.
Lion Air has orders for 190 Boeing jets, worth $22 billion.
After the crash, the planemaker and the Federal Aviation Administration sent 737 Max operators a warning that incorrect readings from a flight-monitoring system can result in the jets abruptly diving – a function of its anti-stall system. When the angle-of-attack sensors – which detect how wind is meeting the wing – perceive incorrect readings the plane may "think" it is experiencing an aerodynamic stall, causing it to dive.
During an interview with FOX Business last year, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the 737 Max jets are safe.