boeing logo

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) sold the most passenger jets of all aircraft manufacturers in the world in 2012. This is in spite of safety problems the company has experienced with its 787 jets. Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (PAR:EAD)), is now planning to sell 700 passenger jets this year, in an attempt to pull the title away from The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).

The Financial Times reports that this is the first time Airbus has fallen behind The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) in the number of passenger jets sold in five years. Boeing recorded a sale of 1,203 jets, compared with Airbus’ 833 net orders. This is also the first time in 10 years Airbus has lagged behind Boeing in commercial aircraft, logging 588 sold, compared to Boeing’s 601 commercial aircraft sold.

Currently, Boeing is battling for its reputation, due to some faults with its 787 jets, also known as the Dreamliner. Regulators all over the globe have grounded the planes today due to of safety concerns. If the issues continue, Airbus stands a good chance of taking its first place position back from Boeing this year.

The Dreamliner was touted by Boeing as a revolutionary new aircraft; made using composite materials which are lighter than aluminum and redesigned electrical systems. The new design was supposed to be 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than other jets. That could be one of the reasons why Boeing sold so many aircraft in 2012.

According to CNN Money, the company received 753 orders for new Dreamliners before the aircraft even flew for the first time in 2011. That’s a record for new aircrafts. However, Airbus went for size instead of fuel efficiency with its new aircraft, the A380, and received 257 orders. The company was only able to deliver 92 of them.

Many industry experts don’t see the Dreamliner as a big mistake for The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). The general belief is that there are some problems which needs to be worked out, but it’s clear that the aviation industry is trending to move toward more fuel efficient models, just as the auto industry is.