Airbus aiming for 500 order and 500 deliveries this year

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Airbus is expecting to top 500 deliveries and secure up to 500 orders this year, parent company EADS is forecasting.

The airframer had managed to deliver 417 aircraft by the end of October, and its gross order tally had reached 421.

Despite increased revenues, Airbus' commercial earnings more than halved in the first nine months of this year, to €328 million ($452 million), as foreign exchange effects of €500 million bit into its financials.

But the company points out that its revenues have benefited from higher A380 deliveries - 15 by the end of October - although chief financial officer Hans Peter Ring admits that the programme "continues to weigh on underlying performance".

Airbus has been hoping to deliver around 21 A380s this year but it is unclear whether its schedule will be thrown out of line by the investigation into the Qantas A380 engine incident on 4 November.

It managed to deliver three A380s in each of July and August: two apiece to Lufthansa and Emirates, and one each to Air France and Singapore Airlines.