Airbus believes it will overtake the Boeing Co. as the world’s largest commercial aircraft maker in 2020.
Boeing has held that distinction for since 2012 by delivering more planes annually than Airbus.
But Airbus’ CEO Fabrice Bregier, according to a report from Reuters, told German newspaper Welt that his company has retaking that crown in its sights.
“In 2020 we will deliver more planes than Boeing again,” said Bregier, adding that there would be specific focus on deliveries of its A320neo and A350 aircraft in the coming years.
Each of those models have seen deliveries delayed in 2016, primarily because of engine supplier issues on the narrow-body A320neo and interior suppliers on the wide-body A350.
While Airbus has held the order crown over Boeing for several years, deliveries are more important to a company’s bottom line as the point at which customers pay the bulk of the costs for their new aircraft.
Boeing (NYSE: BA) delivered a record 762 new passenger jets in 2015, compared to 635 for Airbus.
Through September 2016, Boeing was leading Airbus on deliveries 563 to 462.
The continued competition between the two, particularly in the growing single-aisle segment, drives work in Wichita’s commercial aerospace cluster.
That includes the city’s largest employer, Spirit AeroSystems Inc., which has work on all Boeing commercial programs and on multiple Airbus platforms.