Airbus beats Boeing in orders race

European aircraft maker Airbus enjoyed record deliveries in 2017 while a spree of orders in the final few weeks of the year helped it to beat Boeing in the annual commercial jet sales race.

The number of aircraft delivered by Airbus hit 718 in 2017, a 4 percent rise on the European manufacturer’s previous record deliveries total of 688 set in 2016.

The 2017 total comprises: 558 single aisle A320 Family (of which 181 were A320neo – an increase of 166 percent over 2016); 67 A330s; 78 A350 XWBs (up by nearly 60 percent from 2016) and 15 A380s.

In addition, a string of orders in the final few weeks of the year pushed its total orders to 1,109 from 44 customers. 

By comparison, rival Boeing recorded 763 deliveries in 2017 and 912 net orders.

Significant wins for Airbus included private equity fund Indigo Partners finalising an order for 430 additional A320neo Family aircraft for ultra-low-cost airlines Frontier Airlines (United States), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary). 

The purchase agreement followed a Memorandum of Understanding among the parties announced at the Dubai Air Show in November. The 430-aircraft order is made up of 274 A320neos and 156 A321neos worth $49.5bn at list prices. 

“A new Airbus delivery record coupled with our fifth best order intake wraps up a remarkable year for us,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus chief operating officer.

“This outstanding achievement is testimony to the dedication of all our teams, and makes the company fitter, stronger and ready for the opportunities ahead.”

From its four A320 Family plants in Hamburg, Tianjin, Mobile, and Toulouse, Airbus said it remains on track to achieve rate 60 per month on single-aisle by mid-2019.

At the end of 2017, Airbus’ overall backlog stood at 7,265 aircraft valued at $1.059trn at list prices.


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