Boeing Deliveries Hit 481 for 2009

First deliveries of long-delayed 787 Dreamliner expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Boeing said Thursday it delivered 481 commercial aircraft in 2009, in line with its forecast despite difficult economic conditions.

The figure was in line with the company's guidance of 480 to 485 airplane deliveries for the year, and up from 375 in 2008, a year affected by a strike.

Despite the rise, Boeing may end the year behind its European rival Airbus. One report indicates that Airbus will have a total of 498 deliveries when it releases its data next week.

The commercial airplane backlog was 3,375 airplanes, down slightly from a year ago.

Overall net orders -- including cancellations -- fell to 142 due to "severe economic challenges" of carriers, Boeing said in a statement.

The Boeing 737 remained the biggest seller with 372 deliveries for the year.

Boeing also said it had delivered 88 of its 777 aircraft and 13 of its 767s, along with eight 747 jumbo jets.

The company reiterated that it expects its first deliveries of its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The year "was not without its challenges but it also was a year of exciting achievements for our company and our industry," said Jim Albaugh, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive. "With signs of economic recovery emerging in 2010, we look forward to better days ahead."

Boeing said it expects to provide 2010 commercial airplane delivery guidance when the company releases year-end earnings Jan. 27.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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