Boeing likely the world’s biggest plane maker, tops Airbus with 763 jets in 2017

Boeing Co said on Tuesday it delivered 763 jetliners in 2017, likely retaining the title of the world’s biggest plane maker compared with European rival Airbus SE.

Boeing also garnered 912 net new aircraft orders worth $134.8 billion last year, compared with 668 worth about $94 billion in 2016.

Airbus was on track last month to rack up more than 1,000 gross new orders, excluding cancellations, compared with the 1,053 gross orders Boeing announced Tuesday.

The annual tallies confer more than just bragging rights; they show the companies’ ability to run factories smoothly, make new sales and ultimately generate profits. Both companies report 2017 results in coming weeks.

Industry sources say Airbus, which will report its orders and deliveries on Jan. 15, appears set to meet its target of delivering more than 700 jetliners in 2017, despite problems with Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.

Airbus’ total is still unlikely to match Boeing’s output. The European firm scaled back its forecast from more than 720 jets in October due to delays in delivery of the engines.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott in New York and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Patrick Graham)