US aircraft maker Boeing is very likely to overtake Airbus in sales and deliveries this year, after trailing its European rival for nearly a decade. Airbus is hamstrung in 2012 by problems with its new A380 superjumbo.
In the first nine months of the year, Airbus sold 437 aircraft, of which 55 orders had already either been cancelled or postponed, the European planemaker announced Friday.
The figure fell considerably short of envisaged sales of between 600 to 650 aircraft in 2012, the company said.
Airbus sales so far this year have come in at only about half of those of its US rival Boeing, which sold 962 planes by the end of October, seeing orders for 83 of them cancelled.
In 2012, both Airbus and Boeing have been eager to boost production of single-aisle jets, with the 737 MAX leading Boeing's order books, while Airbus's A320neo has become the fastest-selling jet in aviation history.
However, Boeing has delivered more planes, as 436 have been shipped to customers so far this year, compared with Airbus's 405 deliveries.
Airbus 2012 output was hampered by the wing problems of its wide-body A380, which reduced deliveries of the superjumbo model to just 17 from an envisaged 30 aircraft in 2012, Airbus said.
In addition, new orders for the A380 were also hugely lagging behind, as only one of these aircraft was sold this year, compared with plans for sales of 30 planes.
Nevertheless, Airbus said it was running a total order backlog for 1,500 of its A320 and A320neo aircraft, filling production capacity for the next three years.
uhe/tj (dpa, AFP, Reuters)