On an underlying basis, Boeing beat European rival Airbus SE in the annual jet order race, but it lags in deliveries as it struggles to recover from a series of crises, according to fresh statistics released on Tuesday.

After cancellations and conversions were partially offset by usual accounting adjustments, the US planemaker concluded 2021 with 535 net orders. The total number of orders was 909.

With 479 orders, Boeing fell behind its competition with the upward accounting adjustments, which reflect a more bullish outlook from Boeing on airlines' ability to take delivery.

Airbus sold 771 planes in 2021, resulting in a net total of 507 after cancellations, over double the number sold in 2020.

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In terms of aircraft deliveries, Boeing mostly surpassed analyst predictions, delivering 340 aircraft to customers in 2021, up from 157 in 2020 but down from 380 in 2019 and a record 806 jets in 2018.

Intensive inspections overproduction faults aggravated delays from the COVID-19 problem, resulting in a substantially reduced delivery count of 14 787 Dreamliner twin-aisles in 2021, compared to 41 in 2020.

Airbus, on the other hand, supplied 611 jets in 2021, keeping its title as the world's largest jet manufacturer for the third year in a row.

Boeing delivered 38 planes to customers in December, including 32 737 MAX airplanes, one P-8 maritime patrol aircraft to Norway, and five widebodies, according to the latest figures.

After cancellations and cases when a customer transferred an order for one type of aircraft to another, Boeing had 79 orders for aircraft in December. Allegiant Air ordered 50 737 MAX planes, five jets for an unnamed customer, United Parcel Service ordered 19 767 freighters, and Atlas Air ordered four 777 freighters.

As lockdowns drive e-shopping, Boeing continues to lead to increasing freighter sales. It received 84 orders for new production freighters, breaking the previous high of 83 orders recorded in 2018.

Airbus, for its part, has placed the first orders for a new A350 freighter, albeit in part by repurposing existing passenger orders for cargo planes.