Plane talk

Boeing commercial aircraft deliveries this year:

Plane 2Q Year-to-date

737* 124 239

747 2 6

767 1 1

777 24 48

787 30 48

Total 181 342

*Next Generation version

Dreamliner deliveries are picking up speed.

Boeing Co. said Thursday that deliveries of its 787 jet soared by 66 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous three months.

The aerospace giant said 30 Dreamliners were turned over to airlines and other customers in the April-June period. It delivered 18 of the jets in the first quarter.

Boeing assembles the 787 in North Charleston and Everett, Wash. It makes the aft fuselage and other components for the airplane in South Carolina.

The second-quarter figures included the delivery of the first 787-9, Boeing's longer and pricier version of the original 787-8 model. Air New Zealand signed the paperwork June 30.

Randy Tinseth, the marketing chief for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, wrote on his online journal that 15 Dreamliners changed hands last month, marking "a new record for the program."

The company reported 181 total commercial aircraft deliveries in the last quarter. That's up 12 percent from the January-March period and 7 percent from the 2013 second quarter.

Year to date, Boeing said it has delivered 342 commercial planes, an 11 percent increase from the same period last year. The top seller was the next-generation version of the workhorse 737.

The Chicago-based company released its quarterly update less than two weeks from the kickoff of the Farnborough International Airshow, which begins July 14 outside London.

Boeing and rival Airbus will be looking to outshine each other by announcing new orders at the marquee industry event, which is held in Paris in alternate years.

"Airbus has yet to update their numbers, but it's safe to say we'll have a strong lead going into the Farnborough Airshow," Tinseth wrote. "As usual, we expect the race to tighten up once Airbus rolls out its stockpiled orders en masse the week of the show."

Separately, Norwegian Air Shuttle's CEO Bjorn Kjos said Friday that he plans to add more Dreamliners to his fleet as the European low-fare carrier expands its international offerings. The airline is looking to purchase 20 more 787-9 jets for delivery after 2018, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.