Airbus opens order gap over Boeing but rival may bounce back

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Airbus is on course to end 2011 with well over 1,600 orders, pushing Boeing to the lowest market share of their 40-year rivalry, but Boeing has stored up momentum for a comeback as both companies put fresh vigour into their most-sold jets.

Although Boeing took a year longer than Airbus to revamp a key model to meet demand for lower fuel costs, both enjoy strong demand as Asian growth and the replacement of old aircraft in the United States blot out the euro crisis. The dominant jetmakers track each other more closely in deliveries, which drive revenues and are considered a gauge of competition. Airbus is expected to remain ahead for the ninth year running as it meets a record goal for 520-530 deliveries.

Airbus has 1,529 firm orders so far this year.

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