Airbus Nets 90 Orders in First Quarter, Far Behind Boeing

When announcing in January its record 1,419 orders in 2011, Airbus indicated it expected a downturn this year after the flood of orders for its new, more fuel-efficient version of the A320-series medium-haul jet.

Plane manufacturer Airbus SAS (IW 1000: 56) on Friday said it received 90 net orders in the first three months of the year, leaving it far behind its U.S. rival Boeing Co. (IW 500: 15).

Boeing on Thursday said it registered 412 net orders in the first quarter, many more than the 106 it booked in the same period in 2011.

Yan Derocles, an analyst at Oddo Securities, said the Airbus drop is no surprise.

When announcing in January its record 1,419 orders in 2011, Airbus indicated it expected a downturn this year after the flood of orders for its new, more fuel-efficient version of the A320-series medium-haul jet.

"For its part, Boeing is catching up," Derocles said, referring to how the Chicago-based aerospace giant is now benefiting from orders for the 737 MAX, the new fuel-efficient version of its medium-haul workhorse, introduced to compete directly with the A320neo.

Derocles said he expects Airbus to receive 600 to 650 orders this year.

Airbus on Friday also said it delivered 47 aircraft in March and 131 during the first quarter.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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