The turmoil in the world's banking community has yet to impact airliner sales, with Airbus and Boeing having a very strong first quarter, securing a combined 683 net orders between them. Their total is more than double the 307 recorded during the first quarter of last year, and comes despite earlier warnings from the airframers that 2007's full-year tally of 2,754 orders was the peak of the current cycle.

Airbus was the top seller, with 395 net orders - its total driven partly by the 110-strong order for the A320 family from China. While A330 demand remains strong, A340 sales are flat with none ordered during the quarter.

During this period the airframer all but concluded the tidying up of the A350 order book, with the final conversions of deals for the old model to the XWB. However it has yet to remove Air Europa's 10 cancelled orders for the original A350 following the airline's decision to switch to the rival 787.

Several key Airbus order commitments signed last year have not yet been incorporated into the airframer's backlog, including the 100 orders from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and Grupo Marsans' purchase of 61 aircraft.

Despite a deficit of 100 aircraft compared to its rival, Boeing still had a strong first quarter with orders up over 50% on the same period last year. Concerns over the 787 have so far failed to dampen sales, with 75 orders being taken for the twinjet in the quarter. However the same is not true for the 747-8 family, which recorded just one order - from Boeing Business Jets for a VIP version.

Output during the first quarter rose 8% on the same period last year, to 238 aircraft, with Airbus just ahead of Boeing. Included in this were two of the 13 A380s Airbus plans to deliver during 2008.

The order backlog has increased beyond 7,000 aircraft for the first time, to almost 7,300 - a rise of almost 7% from the end of 2007. The backlog market share split is effectively 50/50, although Airbus holds a very slight advantage going into the second quarter.

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