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The annual tallies confer more than just bragging rights; they show the companies' ability to run factories smoothly, make new sales and ultimately generate profits. Both companies report 2017 results in coming weeks.
Industry sources say Airbus, which will report its orders and deliveries on Jan. 15, appears set to meet its target of delivering more than 700 jetliners in 2017, despite problems with Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.
Airbus' total is still unlikely to match Boeing's output. The European firm scaled back its forecast from more than 720 jets in October due to delays in delivery of the engines.
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