(Reuters) - Boeing Co <BA.N> delivered 61 of its best-selling 737 single-aisle aircraft in September, unexpectedly surging past numbers for both August and the same month a year ago and suggesting manufacturing problems at suppliers may be easing.
The numbers brought overall aircraft deliveries for the first nine months of 2018 to 568, up from 554 at the end of September a year ago and pointing to an easing of the production problems that had caused unfinished planes to pile up at Boeing's Renton, Washington plant.
Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg's had said last month only that September deliveries of the 737 narrowbody jetliners would be as good as August's 48 planes, as the company worked to deliver record numbers of planes for a second year running.
Boeing, which aims to deliver between 810-815 planes in 2018, is in front of its main rival Airbus SE <AIR.PA> which delivered 503 aircraft through September this year, up from 454 aircraft deliveries in the same period last year.
Boeing delivered 57 planes in September last year.
Europe's Airbus SE <AIR.PA> has been grappling with delays to deliveries and quality problems, leaving it a steep trajectory in deliveries for the fourth quarter in order to meet end-year targets.
Deliveries so far this year included 8 of the recently acquired Bombardier CSeries, now known as the A220. The Toulouse, France-based company expects to deliver about 800 planes in 2018, excluding the Canadian-designed A220.
Boeing is also ahead in the order race with Airbus, booking 631 net aircraft orders after cancellations in the first nine months of the year, well ahead of the 256 orders recorded by Airbus.
(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)