Boeing orders fall to five year low

By Stephen Trimble

Boeing has announced sales and production figures for 2008 showing commercial aircraft orders plunged 58% off a record year and deliveries declined nearly 15%.

The 662 orders netted last year mark a five-year low for Boeing's sales team, which had achieved four straight years of 1,000-plus aircraft orders.

Scott Carson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, notes the company faced "obstacles" in 2008, such as a global financial downturn and a string of missteps in its production system and supply chain.

Boeing's order backlog now stands at 3,700 aircraft.

Perennial bestseller 737 Next Generation again led the division with 484 orders. The 787 followed with 93, mostly from Middle Eastern customers. The 777 added 54 orders to its backlog. The 767-300ER, meanwhile, had a comeback year with 28 orders. The 747-8F added sales of three aircraft.

Deliveries also declined from 441 in 2007 to 375 in 2008, showing a nearly proportional decline as the result of a 58-day strike by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Boeing plans to update orders and sales guidance for 2009 later this month when it presents its annual financial results for last year.

© Reed Business Information 2009

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