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Boeing dwarfs Airbus orders in January-February

Tags: Airbus, Boeing

European planemaker Airbus reshuffled its order book but sold no previously unassigned aircraft in February and remains well behind Boeing (BA-N) since the start of the year, company data showed on Friday.

The European planemaker has ceded ground to its rival after grabbing its biggest ever share of the global market in 2011 with record sales of its revamped fuel-saving A320neo jetliner.

But Boeing has hit back with its own competing 737 MAX and is expected to tip the scales in 2012 as the two planemakers re-establish a roughly equal share of the biggest part of the global jet market, covering 100-200-seat medium-haul jets.

Airbus figures for the first two months of the year confirmed that trend, with the EADS subsidiary running at a quarter of the sales booked by Boeing, but neck-and-neck on revenue-driving deliveries at 84 each.

Airbus has sold 97 aircraft so far this year, for a net total of 91 including cancellations.

Airbus reported the sale to Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific of six future A350-900 passenger jets in February.

The airline had previously planned to lease them from Kuwait's Alafco but decided to buy them outright instead. This resulted in an equivalent order from Alafco being cancelled, leaving no net change to the backlog of 555 A350s.

The same Kuwaiti leasing company showcased an order for 35 A320neo jets at the Singapore Air Show last month but these had previously been on the Airbus books as an unidentified buyer, again resulting in no net change.

Asia's largest air show was dominated by the closing of a deal to sell 230 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air. The U.S. company has sold 387 aircraft so far this year, or a net figure of 385 after cancellations.

Airbus deliveries so far this year include four A380 superjumbos. Shares in parent EADS soared on Thursday on signs that the company has grabbed control of the costs of manufacturing the 525-seat airliner.

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