Airbus books three net April orders, Boeing signs up five

Airbus is reporting that it has received eight orders for wide body jets in April but five involved a switch from an older model, and the European planemaker booked a net total of three orders in a month marked by new concerns over travel demand.

Airbus said India‘s Kingfisher Airlines had upgraded an order for A350 wide-body jets to the latest version of the model known as the A350-800 XWB, becoming the last customer of an earlier version to switch to the larger plane, Reuters adds.

The planemaker’s order book for April, released on Thursday, therefore showed five orders and five cancellations for the A350. A spokesman said this was due to the Kingfisher upgrade.

Airbus sold three A330-200 aircraft in April, bringing gross orders so far this year to 30 planes. After 11 cancellations including the 5 for Kingfisher, net orders stood at 11 planes.

Airbus adds it had delivered 46 aircraft in April, bringing the year-to-date total to 162.

Airbus yesterday announced a cut in planned deliveries for the A380 superjumbo as airlines request deferrals due to the drop in passenger and cargo demand. Global airlines body IATA warned last week that swine flu would compound financial problems for airlines, already hard hit by the global economic crisis which pushed passenger numbers down 11.1 percent in March compared with a year ago.

Turkish Airlines orders five Boeing 777-300ERs

Meanwhile Reuters also reports Boeing and Turkish Airlines have signed an order for five Boeing 777-300ER planes valued at $1.36 billion at current list prices.

The purchases are part of a large-scale expansion plan by the partly-state owned flag carrier, which is buying up to 105 planes from Airbus and Boeing by 2023.

The Turkish carrier currently operates a fleet that includes 65 Boeing planes, but Boeing said this was the first time it had purchased new 777s directly from Boeing.

The airline, which has not yet issued a statement on the order, aims to carry 25 million passengers this year, up from 22.5 million last year.

Turkish Airlines Chief Executive Temel Kotil told Reuters earlier this year the company planned to invest more than $6 billion by 2016, including new plane orders from Boeing and Airbus to expand its fleet.

The Turkish carrier’s large-scale expansion programme comes as much of the industry cuts capacity and raises fares amid the global economic woes.