Airbus and Boeing have had a rivalry for decades, fighting to be the top planemaker in the world.
Boeing started manufacturing planes in 1928, well before Airbus was officially founded in 1970. Boeing began with small, single-aisle jets, like the 707 and the 727.
After Airbus entered the market with the world's first twin-engine widebody plane in 1972, the A300, Boeing realized the strong competition and the two would go head-to-head for the next 50 years trying to one-up the other.
For example, in 1978, Boeing launched the 767 to operate in the same market as the A300.
Then, in 1984, Airbus launched its highly successful A320 aircraft to compete with Boeing's world-renowned 737.
As of November, the company has delivered 10,110 A320 family aircraft, though Boeing's popular 737 remains the world's most delivered jet with 10,693 received.
Up until this point, Boeing was the world leader in the industry, but the success of the A320 would help Airbus rise as a global power.
Since the start of the rivalry, both companies continuously innovated their products to become more modernized and efficient, particularly focusing on widebody planes like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner…
…and the Airbus A350.
However, over the years, airlines have started seeking smaller jets that can take passengers as far as previous widebodies, but at lower operating costs.
Now, both Airbus and Boeing are homing in on that market, making enhancements to their single-aisle planes to improve range and performance capabilities.
In 2021, Airbus delivered 483 of its A320 family aircraft and 50 of its A220 family, compared to 446 and 38 in 2020, respectively.
Meanwhile, Boeing delivered 263 of its 737 family jets, with the most being the MAX. The plane has had a troubled past but has been re-certified to fly in over 170 countries.
The Airbus A321neo and the 737 MAX 8 have become increasingly popular for flights across the Atlantic, acting as a more efficient option between low-demand city pairs.
For example, carriers can fly the A321neo on the same route as the A330, but for cheaper and with fewer seats to fill to make a profit.
A number of carriers have started operating narrowbodies on flights between North America and Europe, like JetBlue…
…and United Airlines.
While single-aisle jets dominated last year's deliveries, the two manufacturers also rolled out a number of other plane types. Specifically, Boeing delivered seven 747s, 32 767s, 24 777s, and 14 787 Dreamliners.
Meanwhile, Airbus delivered 18 A330s, 55 A350s, and five A380s. The 611 total deliveries exceeded the company's year-end goal and solidified its rank as the world's largest planemaker for the third year in a row.
Last year marked the very last A380 produced — it was delivered in December to the world's largest operator of the superjumbo, Emirates.
Boeing will have to step up production to beat out Airbus, particularly after halting deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner. However, it is off to a good start after announcing Allegiant Air made a firm order for 50 737 MAXs.