Boeing beats Airbus on jet orders as both top 1,000 this year

Thu Sep 4, 2014 2:10pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher and Alwyn Scott

PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Airbus and Boeing both topped 1,000 new jet orders in the first eight months of the year, but Boeing is far ahead after adjusting for cancellations.

Chicago-based Boeing also has delivered more planes this year than its European rival, hanging on to the title of world's largest plane maker.

The planemaking subsidiary of Airbus Group (AIR.PA: Quote) sold 21 aircraft in August, a traditionally quiet month following the busy Farnborough Airshow in July, bringing its total gross orders for the year to 1,001 aircraft, monthly data showed.

In contrast, Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) booked 107 orders in the same month, bringing total gross orders for the year to 1,004.

Adjusting for cancellations, Airbus reported 722 net orders between January and August. That compares with 941 net orders for Boeing from Jan. 1 to Sept. 2, after accounting for 63 cancellations.

Airbus says the total of 279 cancellations it has announced this year are boosted by conversions from one product to another, as airlines hop out of the current-generation A320 single-aisle family into the newer and more efficient A320neo.

It has argued Boeing will face similar pressure to convert orders when its own revamped 737 MAX approaches delivery, but some analysts have expressed concerns about the underlying level of cancellations as investors remain sensitive to any signs of weakness in recently strong demand for passenger jets.

The A320neo is being readied for its first test flight with engines from Pratt & Whitney (UTX.N: Quote), expected in the second half of the month.   Continued...

The logo of Airbus Group is seen during the first public flight of an E-Fan aircraft during the e-Aircraft Day at the Bordeaux Merignac airport, southwestern France, April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau