Toulouse - Airbus is on track to become the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world for the first time in eight years, as the quarterly results were announced today.
The European aircraft manufacturer benefits from the 737 MAX debacle at Boeing.
Airbus maintains its expectation to deliver 880 to 890 commercial aircraft this year. Boeing previously predicted to stay above that with 895 to 905 aircraft. But the American manufacturer had to quit that expectation since the worldwide, Boeing 737 MAX groundings after two fatal crashes in which the aircraft involved.
Boeing was hit hard after the second 737 MAX 8 crash in Ethiopia. Regulators around the world grounded the 737 MAX fleets. Boeing has suspended the deliveries of its best selling jetliner in the company history and reduced the production of the aircraft from 52 to 42 per month.
Several airlines already canceled their 737 MAX orders. Some still consider canceling and some delayed deliveries a few years.
Boeing is working with regulators to return the MAX jets to service in July this year, but new scandals about the safety issues are disclosed by the U.S. media.
On the other hand, Airbus is increasing the production of its 737 MAX competitor A320neo family to 60 aircraft per month. The European manufacturer also wants to gradually increase the production rate of the A330neo.
In the first three months of the year, Airbus already surpassed Boeing with 162 deliveries against the 149 deliveries of the American aerospace giant. Without the production increase of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners to 14 aircraft per month, the difference would have been even greater.
Airbus had only been able to leave Boeing behind in 2011in the past. All other years Boeing maintained the "largest commercial aircraft manufacturer" title in the world. In the 1990s, Boeing produced two to three times more aircraft than Airbus.