Airbus lags Boeing in order race ahead of Farnborough Airshow


Airbus goes into next week’s Farnborough Airshow lagging behind arch-rival Boeing after ending the first half of the year with 227 aircraft orders, or 183 after adjusting for cancellations, company data showed on Wednesday.

The European planemaker said it had sold 27 aircraft in June, all narrow-body jets earmarked for unidentified customers, while taking six new cancellations or conversions between models.

Boeing sold 309 aircraft, or 276 after cancellations and conversions, between the start of the year and June 28, the latest period for which data is available.

Demand is down from the first half of last year, which included the Paris Airshow, held every other year in June.

This year’s comparable event, the July 11-17 Farnborough Airshow, falls in the second half of the year and is expected to produce a smaller harvest of orders compared with recent years as a lengthy ordering cycle slows in the face of weak oil prices.

Airbus continued to face delays in delivering some of its latest jets after problems with suppliers, handing over just one A320neo in June to bring the total so far this year to eight.

It delivered three long-haul A350 aircraft in June, lifting the first-half total to 12, compared with a target of at least 50 for the year as a whole.

It also delivered three A380 superjumbos, bringing the total for the year so far to 14, comfortably in line with projected full-year deliveries of about 25 aircraft.

Total first-half deliveries reached 298 aircraft.

A320neo deliveries have been hit by delays in getting engines from Pratt & Whitney but both firms say the problem is being fixed and recent visitors to Toulouse saw transporters bringing in engines for some of the 25 or so aircraft parked without engines and waiting to be completed.

Both planemakers are expected to announce orders at the Farnborough Airshow, a barometer of the aerospace industry.

But after several years of bumper orders, analysts say the atmosphere is relatively muted this year as worries grow over the state of the global economy.

Airbus, which historically tends to pull off surprises at air shows and uses them as a deadline to close deals, is chasing Asian and other orders while Boeing is expected to confirm orders for its struggling 747-8 freighter, amid fresh warnings from airlines about stagnant cargo activity.