Ray Conner, president and CEO of the Commercial Airplanes division, highlighted the “solid execution” on the company’s “numerous production rate increases”. And the records did not stop there; Boeing received 1,531 gross commercial orders in 2013, its biggest ever, while the net figure of 1,355 was the second-largest in company history. Three aircraft programmes – the 737 NG, 777 and 787 – set records for deliveries in a single year.
Production rates will need to increase even further to meet the rising global demand for aircraft, and new aircraft programmes will also be launched. “The year ahead will be exciting as we prepare to deliver the first 787-9, continue the design work on our newest programmes – the 737 MAX, 787-10 and 777X – while increasing our production rates on the 737,” said Conner. “We'll remain focused on meeting our customer commitments by delivering the best products and services.”
Boeing’s major rival, Airbus, is also looking ahead to 2014, with its parent company EADS officially rebranding to be known as the Airbus Group. The company now encompasses the divisions Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, and Airbus Helicopters.
The move highlights the strength of the Airbus brand. “For many years, Airbus has been a globally renowned synonym for technology breakthrough as well as aeronautic passion and pride,” said Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders. “Joining forces under the strong Airbus brand gives all our operations and employees the thrust and lift to capture global markets.”
The group is also launching procedures to change the legal form of its holding by 2015, changing from Airbus Group N.V. to Airbus Group SE (Societas Europaea), but will continue to be registered in the Netherlands. The legal conversion has no impact on the organisation or operations of the group, however.
Jason Holland, Editor, Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance