There's no question

This past week, we booked two new orders for the world’s best selling airplane— the 737. If you’re keeping count, that brings our grand total of 737 orders through the years to 12,720.

I bring this up because Airbus has apparently lost count along the way. In one of their recent press releases, they included this sentence:

“The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with more than 11,500 orders to date and over 6,400 aircraft delivered to 400 customers and operators worldwide.”

While it may sound good, it simply isn’t true.


The 737 factory in Renton.

As Aviation Week noted just a few weeks ago in this piece (nice looking ad by the way), the 737 family of airplanes is the “best-selling jetliner in history.”

The 737 numbers are clear: 12,720 ordered. 8,541 delivered.

With more than 4,100 airplanes in our backlog and with 2,720 737 MAXs on order, the 737 will be the leader for a long time to come.

Comments (8)

Andrew Boydston (Boise ID USA):

Subterfuge or the Airbus subter-fuselage is a common component in the Airbus arsenal while upgrading with its NEO concept. No matter how your competitor pushes numbers out, it lands short on the runway of being a "Big" manufacturer or not having an "Extra Wise Body", of work.

Plane Crazy Joe (Warner Robins, GA. ):

Perhaps what Airbus REALLY means is the when comparing 737NGs against the Baby Busses Airbus has sold more frames? This,in fact,IS accurate. Furthermore, Boeing readily admits that the Airbus NEO continues out-selling the MAX. However, when comparing ALL SERIES of Baby Boeings vs ALL SERIES of Baby Busses, Boeing has outsold Airbus.

Airbus began producing their Baby Busses many years after production of Baby Boeings began!

What I report herein can be verified when crunching the numbers! I've seen resources that do this. Without researching these, now, I cannot supply more details here. However, other plane-crazy readers / bloggers - especially those in Europe - can likely quickly refer to their resources to confirm this.

Manos (Greece):

Three things may happen:
1st: Some people don't know how one counts
2nd: Someone lies
3rd: Someone thinks that audience in press releases is consisted of beginners in aviation matters.
Each one of the above, or a combination of them is catastrophic when picture an aviation employee. Of course nobody must underestimate Airbus Industries...but, in the end of the day, all is a matter of fair-play.

Alan (California):

Maybe Airbus meant "best" in the subjective sense. So, maybe not selling the most airliners, but selling them in the best terms, because they like that Airbus got the money--not Boeing.

Otherwise, they could mean the best-selling in the most recent year measured, because they eked out a huge sale in the hours before reporting the sales figures.

Norman Garza (Long Beach, CA):

I guess this is one case where it is better to rely on Wikipedia to tally up the sales numbers. that is 7,894 of the current A320 family as of April 2015 and 3,794 for the NEO. With the current and NEO models combined, that is 11,688 units sold according to wiki and the Airbus website, they underestimated by 188 units, not that good in math I guess. The 737 sales is ahead of the game but the A320 is nipping in and I think this time Boeing is panic mode. Sorry to be the bad guy here.

Dr Dorothy (USA):

Congratulations to Boeing, anyway Airbus investors invest Boeing too and vice versa.

No matter Boeing or Airbus, its really the booming of aerospace of the era and indeed Boeing is advancing and speeding as leading competitively no matter commercial products or the invention products for defence and etc! Again,congratulations to all !

Glacons (Eastbourne, UK):

So the 737 went on sale around 1964 or thereabouts, and the A320 in 1984. The numbers are pretty close considering the 737 had a 20 year head start.

But perhaps if they keep outselling you by 15-20 percent every year, it won't be long before Airbus has sold more A320 series than Boeing 737, despite a 20 year handicap.

Plane Crazy Joe (Warner Robins, GA.):

A closer examination of 737 production - using the " Historical Deliveries " chart on - illustrates that Boeing delivered its first 737 Classics in 1967: only four examples. That was MANY years before the first Baby Busses delivered! As we know, the Classic 737 Program was very successful; encompassing Series 100 through 500! Far more Classic 737s were sold than the former record holder: the 727!

This same chart shows that the number of legacy Boeing models delivered, thru April 2015 is 16,704. Adding all commercial jets produced by McDonnell-Douglas, 3,485, and the total swells to 20,189 aircraft!

Using Randy's above number of total 737 deliveries ( 8,541 ), that's more than half of ALL legacy Boeing models delivered.

Finally, within the past several weeks, Airbus delivered it's 9,000th airframe; encompassing ALL of their models.

NUMBERS and FACTS don't lie - as do certain company executives ...

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