Boeing Co. sold 18 of its 787 Dreamliner jets in January, including the first 787-10 in more than a year, the aerospace giant said Tuesday.
All told, Boeing had orders for 48 planes last month, including 28 for military and commercial versions of its venerable 737 single-aisle jet.
Boeing did not identify the customer that ordered the 787-10, the largest Dreamliner variant that's built exclusively at the manufacturer's North Charleston campus. It was the first "Dash 10" order since June 2017, when Singapore Airlines bought 19 of the wide-bodies.
To date, Boeing has 173 orders for the 787-10, which made its debut two years ago. There have been 17 deliveries split among three carriers.
The strong order total comes as Boeing is increasing Dreamliner production to 14 planes a month, up from a dozen, split between North Charleston and the other 787 assembly site in Everett, Wash.
Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu said "there continues to be some pent-up demand" for the company's newest commercial jet, according to a Reuters news service report.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told analysts last month that the rate increase should show up in deliveries this spring, although analysts say the factories are already building at the 14-per-month rate. The North Charleston campus added 592 workers in the past year to get ready for the production boost.
Chicago-based Boeing's orders beat French-based rival Airbus, which did not announce any new orders for the month.
Boeing also out-delivered Airbus in January, bringing 46 aircraft to customers — two more than last year. That compares with 39 deliveries for Airbus.
Among the January deliveries were eight Dreamliners, including two 787-10s — one apiece for Etihad Airways and United Airlines.
The 787 is the fastest-selling wide-body commercial plane in aviation history, but early development problems caused Boeing to rack up about $30 billion in deferred production and tooling costs for the program. In an SEC filing last week, Boeing said those costs were reduced by $584 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 and now stand at $22.96 billion.
Analyst Uresh Sheth said on his All Things 787 website that he expects "subsequent quarters to show an even larger amount of decrease in the deferred production balance."
Boeing has set a target of between 895 and 905 commercial airplane deliveries for this year. The company delivered 806 aircraft in 2018, missing its target by four planes.