Airbus and Boeing are surely headed into next week’s Farnborough air show seeking to best each other in the always-competitive measure of new-aircraft orders.

Time will tell whether the show will bring a torrent of orders, or just a trickle – and whether Airbus or Boeing will end up on top.

But order and delivery figures for the first half of 2022 provide insight into the state of the jetliner market, and reveal how Airbus and Boeing are stacking up.

Bottom line: Airbus is leading in both orders and deliveries. Boeing, however, has made notable recent progress ramping 737 production despite supply troubles, and has landed big-ticket orders for widebody freighters. 

737 Max at Boeing Field in Seattle on 14 June 2022

Source: Jon Hemmerdinger, FlightGlobal

737 Max at Boeing Field in Seattle on 14 June 2022


Combined, Airbus and Boeing logged new orders for 728 aircraft in the first six months of 2022. But customers also cancelled orders for 283 jets, leaving the airframers’ combined net orders (orders minus cancellations) at 445 for the period.

The figures show marked improvement – due largely to an uptick in A320neo-family deals – from the combined 281 net orders logged by the companies in the same six months of 2021.

Airbus led the deals race in the first half of 2022, landing net orders for 259 aircraft – up from just 38 in the same period of 2021, the Toulouse airframer’s figures show.

 Airbus logged 259 new net orders in the first half 2022 
  Figures for January-June 2022 Year-on-year comparison
Airbus type Orders Cancellations Net orders* Net orders* for first half of 2021
A220 94 0 94 18
A320 family 308 88 220 18
A330 4 84 -80 2
A350 36 11 25 0
Total 442 183 259 38
Source: Airbus data  *Net orders include orders minus cancellations 

Airbus has seen strong demand for A320-family jets this year, with net orders for 220 of the narrowbodies in the January-June period. Notably, those included 109 of Airbus’s fast-selling A321neo.

Airbus even secured an order for 20 A321neos and 20 A220-300s from Qantas, a longtime Boeing-narrowbody customer. Qantas intends to use the Airbus jets to replace 737-800s and 717s.

Airbus’s total A220 orders in the first half of the year came to 94, while the airframer signed deals to sell 25 A350s – including for 20 of its in-development A350 Freighter. On the negative side, Airbus customers cancelled orders for 84 A330s in the period, its figures show.

Qantas A321XLR-c-Qantas

Source: Qantas

Rendering of an A321neo in Qantas colours

Boeing’s net orders in the January-June period came to 186, down from 243 in the same period of 2021.

The US airframer landed 152 net 737 orders in the first six months of 2022, and Boeing scored big with its 777. It logged orders for 46 of the widebody jets during the period, including deals for its newly launched 777-8F.

Despite that success, Boeing’s 787 backlog sagged in the first six months of 2022. Though customers ordered seven of the jets, they also cancelled 19, leaving Boeing’s net 787 order activity for the January-June period at -12.

The cancellations came amid a difficult period for the 787 programme. The airframer’s deliveries of the type have been paused for most of the last 21 months as Boeing addresses manufacturing quality problems.

 Boeing secured 186 first-half 2022 new net orders  
  Figures for January-June 2022 Year-on-year comparison
Boeing type Orders Cancellations Net orders* Net orders* for first half of 2021
737 233 81 152 188
747  0 2
767 0 45
777 46 46 24
787 7 19 -12 -16
Total 286 100 186 243
Source: Boeing data  *Net orders include orders minus cancellations 


Combined, Airbus and Boeing delivered 513 aircraft in the first six months of 2022, up from 453 one year earlier.

Again, Airbus led the way, with 297 deliveries in the first half of 2022– the same number it delivered in the first half of last year.

Boeing’s delivery figures are looking up. The US company handed over 216 jets in the January-June period, up from 156 one year earlier.

Airbus and Boeing delivered a combined 513 jets in the first half of 2022
Airbus First half 2022 First half 2021
A220 25 21
A320 family 230 237
A330 13 7
A350 29* 30
A380 0 2
Total Airbus 297* 297
737 189 113
747 3 2
767 12 13
777 12 14
787   14
Total Boeing 216 156
Combined total 513 453
Source: Airbus and Boeing  
*  Includes two A350s not delivered to Aeroflot due to sanctions against Russia

Critically, Boeing is making progress in getting more 737 Max out the door – a necessity considering the company accumulated an inventory of some 450 of the jets during the type’s 20-month grounding, which ended in late 2020.

Between January and June, Boeing delivered 189 737s, up from 113 in the same period of 2021. Importantly, Boeing now says its 737 Max production system is operating at a production rate of 31 jets monthly – a goal the company had hoped to hit early this year. However, Boeing stresses that actual output will vary month to month and says it is focused on stabilising 737 supply and assembly at the 31-monthly rate.

Reflecting 787 programme troubles, Boeing delivered none of those jets between January and June. Prior to resuming deliveries, Boeing must secure approval of rework from the US Federal Aviation Administration. The company has not said when that might occur, but Lufthansa has said it expects to receive a 787 from Boeing this summer.


Airbus also leads in the backlog category, holding orders for 7,046 aircraft, including for 5,829 A320-family jets, at the end of June. Boeing’s backlog stood at 5,106 aircraft, including 4,101 737s.

Airbus retains backlog lead
Airbus Aircraft in backlog
A220 544
A320 family 5,829
A330 219
A350 423
A350F 31
Total 7,046
737 4,101
747 3
767 96
777 430
787 476
Total 5,106
Source: Airbus and Boeing

How significantly those figures might change during next week’s Farnborough air show remains anyone’s guess. Airframers often unveil big deals during the show.

Financial firm Jefferies calls this year’s show “pivotal” for Boeing, saying in a 13 July research note that the US company has “the most to gain or loose”.

Jefferies notes Boeing could potentially land orders from airlines including Air India, Delta Air Lines, Jet Airways, Ryanair, Japan Airlines and others.