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Business

Boeing edges out Airbus in first quarter orders, deliveries

Boeing has come out on top, overtaking its European rival Airbus in the first quarter. The US planemaker posted record deliveries as well as secured more new orders between January and March.

Despite being almost neck-and-neck in gross orders, US planemaker Boeing posted 110 net orders between January and March, beating its European archrival Airbus' 101 orders.

Airbus had initially said it booked a gross number of 121 aircraft in the period, coming out in front of Boeing's gross total of 116. But Airbus' net figure slipped behind Boeing's after adjusting for cancellations and conversions between different models.

This year, a new round of jumbo plane orders is expected from carriers seeking to cut their fuel costs. Airbus won the

annual order race last year

with 1,456 net orders, squeezing ahead of Boeing's total of 1,432.

For first-quarter deliveries, the gap only widened between the two aircraft giants, as Boeing said last week it had delivered 184 planes between January and March, up from 161 a year earlier - the increase partly due to a jump in production of its 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus is also poised to sharply increase the production of its comparable A350 aircraft. But the French-based manufacturer fell behind Boeing, logging only 134 plane deliveries in the first quarter, including one of its newest model - the A350 - and four A380s.

With only 42 percent in the first quarter, Airbus took the lowest quarterly market share against its US rival since the first quarter of 2002, according to analysts' estimates.

Deliveries at both planemakers traditionally accelerate during the year, peaking in the fourth quarter.

In 2014, Boeing had a profit margin of 10.7 percent per order, compared with

six percent at Airbus

.

el/uhe (AFP, Reuters)

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