Boeing Plane Deliveries Fall 15 Pct. in 2008

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Boeing delivered about 15 percent fewer airplanes in 2008 compared with the previous year as a strike forced the temporary closure of its commercial aircraft operations.

The plane maker today reported 41 aircraft deliveries for December -- a typical monthly level -- bringing the total for 2008 to 375. But the year-end total fell short of the 441 planes Boeing delivered in 2007, according to figures posted on its Web site.

The world's second-largest plane maker after Europe's Airbus has blamed an eight-week strike by machinists and other production glitches for delaying the delivery of new jetliners. But even without the work stoppage, demand for Boeing aircraft slowed after the summer because of the global economic downturn, which lowered the number of air travelers and forced airlines to reduce flights.