Boeing flies ahead of rival Airbus

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US planemaker Boeing beat its European rival Airbus in net new airplane orders and deliveries in the first quarter, according to figures released yesterday.

The two plane giants showed mixed results in the traditionally slow first quarter for new plane orders but the gap between them in deliveries widened after Boeing posted record first-quarter deliveries.

Airbus said it had booked gross orders of 121 aircraft between January and March, beating Boeing’s total of 116.

After adjusting for cancellations and conversions between different models, it slipped behind Boeing with net orders for 101 aircraft as opposed to 110 for Boeing.

Airbus won the annual order race last year with 1,456 net orders, squeezing ahead of Boeing’s total of 1,432.

Both planemakers have set targets suggesting a slowdown this year.

In the first quarter, the bulk of Airbus’s new business fell in March when Air Lease Corp finalised orders for 55 aircraft including 25 revamped A330 wide-body models.

Philippine Airlines upgraded orders for 10 A321 jets to the A321neo, a re-engined 185-seat variant of the Airbus narrowbody family due to enter service in late 2016.

Airbus logged 134 plane deliveries in the first quarter including one of its newest model, the A350, and four A380s.