Max Kingsley-Jones/LONDON

BOEING HAS edged ahead of Airbus Industrie in turbofan-aircraft sales at the end of the third quarter of 1996, the two manufacturers having effectively matched each other's performance in net-order terms during the first half-year.

The US manufacturer, which had around 50% of the combined Airbus/Boeing net-sales total at the half-year point, now has the lead by some 62 orders.

Boeing, however, has suffered far more from cancellations/order swaps during 1996 than has Airbus, and has seen this trend continue into the third quarter.

Both manufacturers are seeing a healthy growth in backlog, which is assisted, particularly where Boeing is concerned, by relatively low delivery rates. Airbus is on course to deliver around 135 aircraft during the whole year, while Boeing expects to produce around 215. These estimates are up slightly on 1995 tallies.

While Boeing's narrow-body/wide-body production is moving in favour of the higher-value wide-bodied aircraft, Airbus is now expanding its single-aisle output rates at the expense of the wide-bodied aircraft.

In 1995, 55% of Airbus deliveries were of wide-bodied aircraft, but, in 1996, this figure has fallen to 40%.

McDonnell Douglas will announce third-quarter sales and deliveries at the end of October with its financial statement.

Source: Flight International