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Boeing Back On Top

Ends 2012 As The World's Number One Planemaker

Boeing expects that when it tallies up all of the orders and deliveries for 2012, it will once again emerge as the world's number one manufacturer of commercial airliners. If so, it would be the first time in a decade that the company has bested its European rival Airbus.

Boeing expects that the final numbers will show 585 commercial deliveries for 2012. That would be the highest total since 1999, when the numbers were boosted by the final deliveries of McDonnell Douglas airplanes from Long Beach, CA. Similarly, the 2012 order book stood at 1,121 aircraft in mid-December, which is second only to 2007's all-time sales record, according to a report in the Seattle Times.

Boeing has been on a hiring spree over the past several months to accommodate the demand, but some analysts say that the future is not totally clear. The competition between Boeing's re-engined 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo is just getting underway with neither airplane as yet flying. And orders for the 747-8 have fallen, leading to concerns about the company's production levels of its biggest jumbo. There are also labor concerns, with the prospect of an engineers' and technical workers' walkout early this year.

But marketing executive Ranty Tinseth told the paper that 2013 will see the 737 MAX, 787-9 and -10, and 777x programs moving forward, and he says that there is "no plan" to cut 747 production "at this time." Tinseth also predicts that the engineers union will come to an agreement with the planemaker before a strike deadline in January.

Boeing will release its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012 at 0730 EST on Wednesday, January 30. Boeing Capital Corp. results will also be released at that time.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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