Airbus extends order lead over Boeing, lags deliveries

Thu Nov 7, 2013 3:09pm EST
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PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's Airbus EAD.PA extended its lead over Boeing in a hard-fought order contest in October, but remained behind on deliveries, leaving its U.S. rival in the industry's no.1 spot.

Airbus said it had sold 153 jets in the month to bring new orders for the first 10 months of the year to 1,265 aircraft.

Boeing's (BA.N: Quote) orders for the same period stood at 1,102 jets, the company said in a monthly breakdown on Thursday.

October was dominated by high-profile defections of two airlines previously loyal to Boeing (BA.N: Quote) as Mexican airline VivaAerobus and Japan Airlines (9201.T: Quote) opted for Airbus jets.

Boeing, which won the race on both orders and deliveries in 2012, is expected to hit back with significant sales at this month's Dubai Airshow but analysts say Airbus has the edge in this year's order battle while trailing behind on deliveries.

After cancellations, Airbus booked a total of 1,215 net orders from January to October, up 14 percent from the same period a year earlier and well above Boeing's 957 net orders.

Airbus had already exceeded its official target of 1,000 gross orders by the end of September, but by breaking through the 1,200 barrier it has also beaten an internal goal.

Airbus continued, however, to show a blank scorecard for 2013 sales of the A380 superjumbo. Disappointing sales of the world's largest aircraft have raised questions over production and ambitions to break even on the jet in 2015.

Parent EADS is expected to update investors on targets with quarterly results on November 14.   Continued...

An Airbus A380 plane takes off during a demonstration flight at the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow August 31, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov