PARIS, Jan 12, (AFP): European aircraft maker Airbus said on Tuesday that plane orders dropped in 2015 from a year earlier, but were still way ahead its US rival Boeing.
Airbus clocked up 1,036 net orders last year, down from 1,456 in 2014. This compares with Boeing orders of 768, reported last week, falling from 1,432 a year earlier.
Airbus delivered 635 aircraft last year, a record number, compared to 629 in 2014, but well below Boeing’s 762 deliveries.
Airbus said 2015 deliveries included 491 units of the popular A320 model family.
There were also two orders for its flagship A380 model, whose sales have been struggling, it said.
“This commercial and industrial performance unequivocally proves that global demand for our aircraft has remained resilient,” Airbus chief Fabrice Bregier said in a statement.
The company expects to raise deliveries to 650 in 2016, he added at a news conference.
He also said that Airbus expected to overtake Boeing deliveries by 2019.
“When you look at the current figures and our order book, yes, we should be delivering more planes than Boeing. So we will be the biggest aircraft maker, including by deliveries,” he said.
Airbus’s order book totalled 6,787 aircraft at the end of 2015, worth $996.3 billion (918.4 billion euros), which the company called “an industry record level”, representing about eight years of production.
Boeing is not far behind, with 5,795 orders, enough for seven-and-a-half years of production.
Airbus, headquartered in the southwestern city of Toulouse, employs 55,000 people and has so far sold a total of over 16,300 aircraft to 400 customers.