WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Boeing must deliver 70 narrowbody 737s and 14 widebody 787 Dreamliners in November and December to meet its target for 2023, setting the U.S. planemaker up for a sprint over the holiday season.
The U.S. planemaker on Tuesday reported delivering 34 jets in October, about half as many as its European rival Airbus , which delivered 71 aircraft.
Boeing has said it would deliver at least 375 narrowbody aircraft this year - a reduction from its original goal of between 400 and 450 737s - as well as at least 70 Dreamliners.
Delivery numbers are typically largest in the final months of the year as planemakers race to meet annual goals. Boeing will meet its targets if it can match its delivery pace for last year, when it handed 87 737s and 16 Dreamliners to customers in the last two months of 2022.
Meanwhile, Airbus needs to deliver 161 aircraft in November and December to meet its annual goal of 720 deliveries.
Boeing's deliveries for October included 18 737 MAXs and one older-model 737 NG aircraft that will be converted into a P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft for the U.S. Navy.
Widebody deliveries included three 777 freighters, six 767s and six Dreamliners.
Boeing slowed 737 deliveries in August after the discovery of a supplier defect involving misdrilled holes on some aircrafts' aft pressure bulkhead. Executives had said in an Oct. 25 earnings call that 737 deliveries that month would be in line with September, when the company delivered 15 narrowbody jets - the planemaker's lightest month so far this year.
"With demand strong, our focus remains on delivering airplanes," Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told investors in October.
Boeing booked 123 gross orders last month, bolstered by a deal with Southwest Airlines for 111 MAXs. It reported six cancellations, which included one MAX for Aerolineas Argentinas and five MAX for customers that Boeing declined to identify.
Boeing's gross orders since the start of January rose to 971, or 841 net orders after factoring in cancellations and conversions and 1,066 net orders after accounting adjustments.
Airbus has booked orders for 1,399 aircraft through October, or a net total of 1,334 planes after cancellation. (Reporting by Valerie Insinna; Editing by Stephen Coates)