Jet-airliner sales were flat in 1997, according to provisional order and delivery figures, with the two major manufacturers together taking a total of around 1,000 orders, a similar tally to that recorded in 1996.
The number of shipments was up considerably on the previous year, however, despite Boeing's recent production problems at its plants in Seattle, Washington.
Airbus Industrie stole considerable ground from Boeing in 1997, with its 451 orders representing a 45% share of sales, compared to 30% in 1996. The gain resulted from an improved sales performance by Airbus in 1997 - its order tally was up by more than 100 units on that of 1996 - as well as a poorer performance by Boeing.
Sales of the Seattle-built aircraft and Long Beach-built ex-McDonnell Douglas models were down compared to 1996 figures.
Deliveries in 1997 were up some 40% on those of 1996, to around 570, with Airbus taking its traditional one-third share. The actual number of shipments will be dependent on Boeing's end-of-year push to return the Seattle-built models to the original delivery schedule.
Boeing said in mid-December that it would tender around 53 aircraft for delivery during the final month of the year, which would bring its annual tally to 335 (Seattle-built types only). The manufacturer warns, however, that it does not expect customers to take final delivery of all 53 aircraft.
Source: Flight International