Cape Town - European aircraft giant Airbus currently boasts over 50% of the global market for commercial aircraft. The company has released its 2012 results.
“We are the leaders today. To date we have sold 1 700 Airbus Neos to (Boeing’s) 1 000 maxes. We have outsold the 747s with a380s by 9-1. I hate to sound defensive but those are the facts,” Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy told the media.
Airbus delivered a new company record of 588 aircraft to 89 customers, exceeding its order target of 650 by winning 914 gross orders in 2012. T
These orders include 305 Ceos, 478 Neos, 82 A330/A340s, 40 A350 XWBs and nine A380s. Airbus’ backlog sets a new industry-wide record of 4 682 aircraft valued at over $638bn.
The company’s new A350 model is nearing completion, and its first flight is expected to be later this year with first delivery to a customer by the second half of 2014.
This plane is seen as the great competitor for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner is experiencing difficulties and has seen the current operating fleet being grounded while safety inspections are under way.
Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier said he wishes Boeing well with its 787.
“I don’t bet on difficulties of competitors to be successful. I really wish Boeing well, that they will get the 787 in the air again. A plane is designed to fly,” said Bregier.
"Looking back over 2012, we can proudly say it was a fantastic year. We delivered a record number of aircraft which highlights our increasing efficiency, and the market again demonstrated its confidence in all our products.
"In 2012 we delivered the first Sharklet aircraft and with a commanding lead in the single aisle market, the dividends from our strategic decision to invest in the kind of innovation which generates value for our customers, is paying off,” said Bregier.
The company said it will break ground with its new Airbus Neo production facility in America later this year.
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