Airbus leads order race, lags Boeing on deliveries

Thu Dec 5, 2013 1:33pm EST
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PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus and Boeing look set for a photo finish in their annual order race this year, but Airbus was well in front of its rival in the first 11 months as negotiators work out the small print of big U.S. deals clinched at the Dubai Airshow.

Europe's Airbus EAD.PA increased the number of orders by more than 100 to 1,373 since the beginning of January, compared with 1,212 for U.S.-based Boeing BA.N, data by both companies showed on Thursday.

After cancellations, Airbus logged 1,314 net orders.

Boeing remained ahead on deliveries, which drive revenue and are the most widely used benchmark for ranking the top two jetmakers.

It delivered 580 planes compared with 562 from Airbus and looked on course to maintain the industry's No.1 spot for a second year when full 2013 data is released in January.

Encouraged by a mixture of high oil prices and low interest rates, demand for civil airliners remains strong as U.S. airlines replace old models, and airlines from the Gulf to Asia expand their fleets to divert traffic and serve new markets.

Boeing stacked up 259 orders and commitments for a revamped version of its 777 long-haul jet at last month's Dubai Airshow, but more than 200 of them have yet to be posted in its backlog of orders as firm contracts are drawn up.

Airbus won an order for 50 A380 superjumbo aircraft from Dubai's Emirates, but this was also waiting to be finalized and has yet to appear in company data.

The Emirates A380 deal marked a turnaround in orders for the world's largest airliner after a period of slack sales.   Continued...

An Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet, flies during the Dubai Airshow November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Caren Firouz