Airbus set a new company record last year, at 800 commercial aircraft deliveries, while orders slowed down compared to 2017.

The Toulouse-based manufacturer thus narrowed the gap with US-based Boeing in deliveries, as the latter handed over 806 aircraft. A factor was Airbus’s greater order tally in 2017. However, in 2018, Airbus’s 747 net orders trailed Boeing’s 893.

“Despite significant operational challenges, Airbus continued its production ramp-up and delivered a record number of aircraft in 2018,” Airbus Commercial Aircraft president and soon to be Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said.

The 2018 deliveries included 20 A220s, since the aircraft, previously the Bombardier CSeries, became an Airbus program in July 2018. The A320 remained the top seller, at 626 deliveries—a 12% uptick. The newer A320neo version surpassed the A320ceo for the first time.

Deliveries of the A350 increased, too, at 93 aircraft (78 in 2017).

Both the A330 and A380 saw decreases. Only 49 A330s, including the first three A330neo, were handed over, versus 67 the year before. The A380 program continued at an even slower pace, at 12 deliveries (15 in 2017).

Geographically, Asia is leading, by far, at 34% of total deliveries.

The output continues on an upward trend overall. The A350’s production rate now stands at 10 per month. The A320 program is “on track to achieve rate 60 by mid-2019,” Airbus said.

The 747 orders were significantly below the level of 2017, when 1,109 orders were garnered—more than anticipated. Airbus seems to be succeeding in breathing new life into the A220 program, which received 135 orders. However, the A320 family was much less successful than last year, at 541 orders. The widebody segment slightly improved but remained weak, as orders for the A330 and A350 received 27 and 40 orders, respectively. Orders were signed for four A380s.

The backlog stood at 7,577 as of the end of 2018.

Thierry Dubois, thierry.dubois@aviationweek.com