Europe's Airbus has conceded it's lost its top spot as the world's biggest airline maker to US rival Boeing. Nonetheless, the company has announced it has logged more deliveries than originally hoped for.
European aviation group Airbus was toppled by US rival Boeing from the top spot as the world's largest plane maker, the company admitted during a presentation of its 2012 business figures in Toulouse on Thursday.
Publishing results just as Boeing was hit by a crisis over its Dreamliner aircraft, Airbus announced it made record deliveries of 588 planes throughout last year - 13 fewer than its American competitor.
Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said the 2012 delivery figures were up from 534 sold planes in the previous year. He said last year aircraft went to altogether 89 customers, among them 17 new clients.
For the current year, Airbus said it targeted 700 orders and more than 600 deliveries. The group advertized its A350 counterpart to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, saying its own model had a different electronics system and indicating it was less likely to produce malfunctions.
Airbus' sales record in 2012 was primarily based on the success of its A320 passenger plane, with 455 units of the single-aisle model sold globally last year.
Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said he expected the A400M military aircraft to receive commercial authorization in the first quarter of this year, adding that first deliveries to the French armed forces would most likely be made in the second quarter.
hg/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)