Boeing delivers record number of aircraft in 2015

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Boeing looks to have cemented its position as the world's biggest aircraft manufacturer after delivering a record 762 planes last year.

The figure exceeds Boeing's previous forecast that it would deliver between 755 and 760 aircraft.

Rival Airbus is due to unveil its numbers on Tuesday, but is not expected to have delivered many more than the 629 aircraft seen in 2014.

Despite Boeing's record deliveries, new orders fell by half last year.

Airlines, especially fast-growing carriers in the Middle East and Asia, have been on a spending spree in recent years, but cut back new orders markedly in 2014.

Boeing's deliveries for 2015 beat its previous record of 723 in 2014. Last year, the US manufacturer delivered 120 of its 737s in the final three months of last year, slightly below the target production rate of 42 a month.

Boeing has ramped up production of its range of aircraft by 60% over the past five years.

Production of the 787 Dreamliner, built largely with lightweight composite materials that reduce fuel use, will rise from a current 10 per month rate to 14 by 2020, Boeing said.

Boeing said that orders for new commercial aircraft fell to 768 last year from 1,432 in 2014. Analysts expect Airbus to have won more orders than Boeing last year when the European planemaker releases data next week.

As of 31 December, Boeing's backlog of orders stood at 5,795, representing more than seven and a half years of production at the current rate.

With Boeing's, and Airbus's, factories running at full capacity, airlines have been reluctant to spend billions of dollars on aircraft that they would not receive for several years.

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