Airbus Record Order Intake for 2011 Beats Boeing on A320neo

Airbus SAS, the world’s biggest planemaker, extended its lead over U.S. rival Boeing Co. (BA), with 11-month orders already topping its annual record following the introduction of the A320neo.

Carriers placed 1,378 aircraft orders through November after subtracting cancellations, the Toulouse, France-based company said on its web site. That includes about 1,200 firm orders for A320neos, which offer more fuel-efficient engines than the existing A320 series. Boeing’s tally stands at 518 planes in the first 11 months.

An employee loads an Engine Alliance (EA) LLC GP7200 aero engine onto a transporter at the Airbus SAS factory in Hamburg. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Airbus has topped Boeing’s deliveries every year since 2003. While aircraft makers get the majority of payment upon delivery, new purchase agreements carry initial pre-delivery payments of as much as 5 percent upon signature, with 20 percent of the sales price being paid out in stages before delivery, boosting cash and providing capital for investing in planes.

The shares of Airbus (EAD) parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. have gained 26 percent this year, outpacing the 10 percent increase in the value of Boeing stock. EADS was little changed as of 4:30 p.m. in Paris, trading at 22.04 euros a share. Boeing shares rose as much as 47 cents, or 0.66 percent, to $71.56 in New York and traded at $71.50 as of 10:37 a.m. in New York.

Boeing is lagging on orders partly because the Chicago- based company hasn’t yet started taking firm orders for its 737 MAX, a version of the 737 that will offer new engines and enter service in 2017, two years after Airbus’s A320neo.

MAX Engines

Boeing decided to offer the MAX, which will carry more fuel-efficient engines from CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. (GE) and Safran SA (SAF), to fend off the A320neo and help capture half of a $2 trillion market in the next 20 years.

The unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. delivered 477 planes through November, including 371 single- aisle aircraft, 78 widebody planes, and 22 double-decker A380 jets. Airbus incurred 143 cancellations. Boeing delivered 387 planes through October, according to its web site.

Boeing says it has won 700 commitments from nine customers for the MAX though will only accept firm orders when the performance guarantees and pricing of the promised plane have been set. Jim Albaugh, chief executive of Boeing’s commercial jet division, said Nov. 13 that discussions on pricing and performance may be wrapped up before year end.


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