Airbus lags Boeing but faces tense end to order race

Fri Dec 5, 2014 6:37am EST
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By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) sold 248 jets in November, but remained behind Boeing (BA.N: Quote) as both planemakers accelerated towards what could be a tight finish to their annual order race.

November's Airbus sales included a total of 120 A320-family aircraft to three unidentified customers.

However CIT Leasing (CIT.N: Quote) canceled an order for one of 15 new-generation A350-900 wide-body jets it had bought, as it finalized an order for 15 upgraded versions of the older A330.

In total, Airbus won 1,328 total orders between January and November, company data showed on Friday. After adjusting for cancellations, it had 1,031 net orders. It delivered 554 jets.

On Thursday, Boeing (BA.N: Quote) reported 1,380 orders between Jan 1 and Dec 2, including 100 737 MAX confirmed by Ireland's Ryanair (RYA.I: Quote). Net orders stood at 1,274 aircraft.

Boeing delivered 647 aircraft in the first 11 months.

The two planemakers are heading towards a stronger than expected order intake for 2014, as airlines seek the fuel savings offered by efficient models despite lower oil prices.

Airbus, which is already above its net order target for 2014, has a further 500 provisional orders announced but not yet finalised. Some of these typically get booked in December.   Continued...

Airbus's company logo is pictured at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, December 4, 2014.  REUTERS/ Regis Duvignau