Asked in a media session afterward when Boeing would reclaim the No. 1 spot, McNerney said: "The math would say end of this year, beginning of next."
But he declined an opportunity to criticize the rival airplane maker, whose lengthy delays with its superjumbo A380 sent many orders to Boeing instead.
"They have gone through some difficulties the last couple of years, but we've had times in our history where we've run into difficulties. I'm convinced they'll get through them and they're going to be the formidable competitor they've been over the last couple of decades," McNerney said.
"I don't exult in their difficulties at all," he said.
Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe
Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days
Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit
Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior
Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft
Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials
Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions
Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin
Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon
Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos
Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft
Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries
Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground
Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos