Boeing, Airbus set production records in 2018, but still fall short of forecasts

Boeing Co. and Airbus SE failed to deliver all the jets they had once planned to make in 2018, showing how production problems are holding back the two top plane makers as demand for airliners soars.

Boeing Co. BA, +3.79%  on Tuesday said it delivered 806 jetliners for the year. That was a record, but fell shy of the 810 to 815 jets the company aimed to deliver. Shortages of fuselages, engines and other parts have slowed Boeing’s output since last summer. The plane maker last missed delivery guidance in 2011.

Airbus AIR, +3.70%  said Tuesday that it delivered 800 planes in 2018, also a company record. That met its revised goal after the company in October scaled back its production plans for the year by around 20 aircraft because of supplier problems and internal production setbacks. It just barely met the lowered guidance of 800 planes.

Shares in both companies rose Tuesday on the news that the production shortfall wasn’t more severe. Boeing’s shares closed 3.8% higher on Tuesday and Airbus shares closed up 3.7%. Together, the two aerospace giants delivered a combined 1,608 planes in 2018, compared with 1,481 a year earlier. That’s up sharply from 1,000 deliveries in 2011, reflecting the surging demand for air travel, particularly among fast-growing carriers in Asia.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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