Analysis: Airbus’s late push sees off Boeing - again

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Airbus's usual late orders spurt again enabled it to leap-frog Boeing and end last year as top dog in the annual sales race.

The airframer - whose salesmen often manage to get signatures on a raft of firm contracts in the final month of the year - added a whopping 204 orders in December, taking its net order tally beyond Boeing's 530 aircraft, to 574.

Single-aisles made up the bulk of Airbus's big December deals, including 50 for China Eastern, 60 for Virgin America, and 50 for LAN Airlines.

The two rivals' combined order total is heading back towards the boom times of the last decade, but at 1,104 units is still well short of 2007's peak when Airbus and Boeing's net sales exceeded 2,700 aircraft.

As expected, Airbus again out-produced its rival - for the eighth year in succession - delivering 510 aircraft. This breaks its previous all-time output record of 498, set the year before.

Boeing's deliveries fell slightly from 481 in 2009 to 462, with the absence of 787 shipments beginning to tell on the airframer's output. As a result, the two airframers' combined delivery tally, at 972 aircraft, is down slightly on 2009, but is likely to exceed 1,000 aircraft for the first time in 2011.

Jet airliner deliveries, orders and backlog          
  2010     2009  
Airbus
Deliveries Net Orders Backlog Deliveries Net Orders
A318 2 0 9 6 -3
A319 51 -47 230 88 20
A320 297 360 1948 221 187
A321 51 103 231 87 3
A330 87 47 354 76 45
A340-500/600 4 1 4 10 -7
A350 0 78 583 0 22
A380 18 32 193 10 4
Total 510 574 3552 498 271
Value (bn)* $57.6 $76.2 $485.5 $51.6 $29.3
Boeing
         
737 376 486 2186 372 178
747-400 0 0 0 8 0
747-8 0 -1 107 0 2
767 12 3 50 13 2
777 74 46 253 88 19
787 0 -4 847 0 -59
Total 462 530 3443 481 142
Value (bn)* $48.8 $46.8 $438.8 $51.7 $7.8
TOTAL
972 1104 6995 979 413
Total Value (bn)* $106.4 $123.1 $924.2 $103.3 $37.1
  • Notes: * Airbus and Boeing 2010 values have been estimated by Flightglobal using average list prices to enable like-for-like comparisons. Airbus values its 2010 net orders at over $74 billion and backlog at $480 billion. Airbus and Boeing 2009 values use the same methodology. Data includes A319CJ and Boeing BBJ.