Airbus aircraft orders top 1,000 mark

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Europe’s Airbus said yesterday that new orders topped 1,000 aircraft in the first eight months of the year as airlines order fuel-saving models, but cancellations continued to weigh on net orders, which remain behind those of rival Boeing.

The planemaking subsidiary of Airbus Group 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.

Adjusting for cancellations, Airbus reported 722 net orders between January and Aug- ust.

In the latest figures available for Boeing, the US planemaker posted 981 gross orders between January 1 and August 26, or 918 orders 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.