Airbus is on the verge of losing the orders race for civil airliners for the first time in six years as its parent EADS is warning of the Airbus division turning in a loss for the 2006 financial year due to one-off A380 delay compensation payments.

The European manufacturer is revealing its 2006 net orders and deliveries at a press conference in Paris and will confirm it has received orders for fewer aircraft than Boeing's total of 1,044.

Meanwhile, the parent company EADS is warning of a possible loss for Airbus last year, owing to one-off payments relating to customer settlements, additional charges over the delayed A380 programme, and its ‘Power8’ efficiency scheme.

It points out that some of these charges, which were expected to occur in 2007, are expected to be recognised in the previous financial year.

EADS has not disclosed an indication as to the extent of the losses. But EADS forecasts that positive earnings from its other divisions will largely balance out the negative impact from Airbus.

In a statement the company says: “While work on the completion of the completion of the 2006 consolidated financial results is still ongoing, EADS management is estimating that the Airbus division will probably deliver a negative [earnings before interest and tax] contribution for the full year.”

EADS’ board of directors and audit committee have yet to approve the 2006 results. This is expected to take place on 8 March.

Strong Airbus deliveries in 2005 enabled the airframer to generate full-year earnings of €2.3 billion ($3 billion), a rise of 20% on 2004, which drove EADS’ net profits up by nearly 40%.