Boeing 1Q delivery rates show post-strike rebound

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Boeing today reported delivering 121 aircraft in the first quarter, showing production rates have rebounded from a prolonged strike during the second half of 2008.

The airframer supplied 91 next-generation 737s, 4 747s, 3 767s and 23 777s. It was Boeing's best quarterly performance since posting 126 deliveries in the second quarter last year.

A 57-day strike by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) halted production activity for parts of the third and fourth quarters last year.

The discovery that all aircraft types had thousands of fasteners installed improperly also disrupted Boeing's production system after the strike.

Total deliveries declined from 84 in the third quarter to only 50 in the fourth quarter.

But the first quarter production numbers show Boeing is back on pace to achieve its goal of delivering 480 to 485 aircraft by end-year.

On Tuesday, Boeing President and CEO Scott Carson stood by the delivery forecast despite reports of declining passenger demand this year. Airlines have responded to slower ticket sales by retiring older aircraft faster, Carson says.