Boeing, frequently lagging behind its European rival Airbus in both airliner orders and deliveries over the last decade, has grabbed the lead in both standards through the first three quarter of 2012.
Boeing reports it booked orders for 962 airliners during the first nine months of this year compared with 437 for Airbus. Some airlines, however, canceled orders, leaving Boeing a net of 879 orders and Airbus with 382.
On the delivery side, Boeing handed over 436 planes and Airbus 405. Boeing has increased the production pace on all of its aircraft assembly lines and has begun more regular delivery of its newest aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8.
Boeing has built a big backlog of undelivered Dreamliners that need to be modified to meet updated specifications before they can be handed over to customers. The company just last week delivered its first 787 built in its new South Carolina plant to Air India.
Boeing is enjoying a burst of new orders for its updated 737 Max this year just as Airbus did with its updated A320neo in 2011. After the initial surge of orders, both lines of will likely settle down to a more normal pace.
Boeing suffered in 2011 because it waited until fall to decide it would build an all-new successor to the popular 737 or simply update the plane. After Airbus decided to update its A320 early in the year and generated hundreds of orders, Boeing followed suit.