Airbus wings clipped as yearly figures lag behind rivals

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Airbus wings clipped as yearly figures lag behind rivals

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Airbus has had its wings clipped. For the first time in a decade the French-based company has lost its crown as the world’s largest maker of passenger jets to rivals Boeing.

Sales of its flagship superjumbo A380, the biggest airliner in the world were around one third of the company’s target figure after a problem with the wings of the aircraft.

But Airbus is confident of the future as airlines look to replace their fleets with more fuel-efficient planes.

“In 2012 we had a very good year, which was better than expected. We remain the market leader, both in terms of the backlog of orders – with orders for close to 4,700 aircraft on our books – that’s seven years of production – and that year after year, we continued to increase our deliveries, our speed of delivery, to our customers,” said Fabrice Bregier, CEO of Airbus.

Despite his buoyant tone, sales figures were lower than the company’s record year in 2011.

Net orders – that is after cancellations – totalled 833, a drop of 41 percent.