Airbus shrugs off China concerns after outselling Boeing

Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:18am EST
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By Tim Hepher and Cyril Altmeyer

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's Airbus is unperturbed by China's financial turmoil, sticking to robust demand forecasts on Tuesday after beating arch-rival Boeing in the annual tally of global aircraft orders, despite failing to close a gap on total deliveries with the world's largest jetmaker.

As share prices and oil prices steadied after weeks of volatility, Airbus maintained its confidence in demand that underpins plans for record production rates at both companies.

Despite a recent sell-off in markets in China, where Airbus has an assembly plant, the Chinese continue to spend on aviation, planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier said.

"It’s a sign that the vision you have that share prices drop and everything collapses is disconnected from the real economy, he said at the company's annual news conference.

Swelling its total order book to a record $1 trillion, Airbus added 1,036 new plane orders net of cancellations last year, down 29 percent from 2014, compared with Boeing's tally of 768, a fall of 46 percent. (Graphic:

Both planemakers experienced a slowdown after two years of heavy orders, and amid concerns over the impact of economic jitters and low oil prices on demand for fuel-saving jets.

Despite that, deliveries of popular models grew, reflecting industry forecasts of persistent growth in traffic.

Airbus deliveries edged up to 635 in 2015 and it predicted over 650 in 2016, to be outstripped once again by new orders.   Continued...

People are silhouetted past a logo of the Airbus Group during the Airbus annual news conference in Colomiers, near Toulouse January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau