Airbus delivered more aircraft compared to Boeing throughout February 2023. However, the United States (US)-based Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) finalized and booked more orders than its European counterpart.
Special Airbus A350 delivery
In total, Airbus delivered 46 aircraft, mainly narrow-body jets (42 units), split between the A220-300 (three deliveries) and 39 A320neo family jets (13 A320neo, 26 A321neos). The European OEM handed over four wide-body aircraft, three commercial (1 A330-900neo to Condor Airlines, one A350 to Turkish Airlines, and one A350 to China Eastern Airlines), and one A330 MRTT to the NATO multinational tanker fleet.
The Turkish Airlines Airbus A350-900 became the carrier’s 400th aircraft. Called the “One Heart”, the aircraft, registered as TC-LGH, made its first flight with children affected by the two earthquakes that shook Turkey and Syria in early February 2023.
In terms of sales, the European manufacturer’s backlog grew by 99 aircraft, with one private customer ordering an A319neo, an undisclosed airline buying 15 A320neos, and British Airways opting for seven A320neo and three A321neo.
The bulk of the orders were from Qatar Airways, as Airbus added 50 A321neo and 23 A350-1000 aircraft to its order book. These orders had been temporarily taken off the order book during the dispute with the Qatari carrier regarding the A350’s paint surface. Once the two parties reached an agreement on February 1, 2023, Airbus reinstated the orders.
A month prior, the Toulouse, France-based company had booked 36 orders and delivered 20 aircraft.
Boeing’s delivery stoppages
Throughout February 2023, Boeing handed over 28 aircraft to customers, the majority of them being the 737 MAX (24 in total). The remaining four were the P8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, based on the 737-800, a 777F, a 747F, and a 787-10.
The US OEM’s deliveries have been affected by various shortfalls, including a delivery halt for the Boeing 787 due to a supplier’s analysis error related to the aircraft’s pressurization bulkhead at the front of the Dreamliner. The 787-10, which was delivered to United Airlines in February 2023, was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to the delivery stoppage. The FAA once again allowed the plane maker to hand over 787s to customers in March 2023.
In January 2023, Boeing notified operators of the 767F and the KC-46A Pegasus, based on the 767, of an issue with a paint primer used in the center wing fuel tank. As a result, no aircraft of either type have been delivered so far in 2023, including in March 2023, when this article was published.
Meanwhile, the 747-8F that was delivered to Atlas Air, to be operated for Apex Logistics, a subsidiary of Kuehne+Nagel, was the last-ever 747 to be built.
Boeing only booked a single order from an undisclosed customer for five 737 MAXs in February 2023. Still, during the month, the US OEM finalized a deal with Air India for 290 aircraft, namely 190 737 MAX, 20 787-9, and 10 777X-9 aircraft. At the same time, Airbus also won an order from Air India for 250 jets in February 2023. The order comprised of 210 A320neo family and 40 A350 aircraft and it was not noted in the OEM’s Orders and Deliveries data.
In January 2023, the American plane maker delivered 38 aircraft and booked 55 orders.