Airbus confirmed a record order figure for 2011 with a net total of 1,419 aircraft, from 1,608 gross, a figure underpinned by the popularity of its re-engined A320neo.
The A320neo family achieved 1,226 firm orders over the year, out of a total of 1,348 A320s.
EADS chief Louis Gallois, speaking during the airframer's annual briefing in Hamburg, described the A320neo as the "star of the year" and claimed it had "forced" Boeing into re-engining the 737.
There was a weaker showing in the widebody sector. Airbus took orders for 52 A330s and A350s, plus 19 A380s.
Airbus nevertheless eclipsed rival Boeing, despite its US rival's posting impressive net orders for 805 aircraft from a gross total of 921.
It also achieved a record deliveries of 534 jets which, combined with Boeing's 477, pushed overall production between the two into four figures for the first time. The previous highest combined output was 979 in 2009.
Airbus's deliveries in 2011 comprised 421 A320-family aircraft - a new record - plus 87 A330s and 26 A380s.