Airbus and Boeing have said that they are on track to smash all records for aircraft sales this year. The Dubai air show produced a new flurry of orders, powered by demand from Gulf Arab states.
Airbus is happy that the region’s biggest airline – Emirates – is buying 70 of its mid-sized A350s in preference to Boeing’s 787, but the 787 is already the fastest selling new Boeing in history.
Airbus has moved ahead of its US rival in their annual battle for orders. The European company says it has 1,122 for the year so far, its highest ever total.
But the unions are angry that with full order books workers are being cut as part of the restructuring. Jean-Francois Knepper of the biggest union at Airbus, Force Ouvriere, said: “The paradox it is that with six years of work ahead of us, plus those orders from the Dubai show, the bosses persist in pushing ahead with job cuts.”
The cut-backs come after major losses from the delays to the A380 superjumbo. Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said the company is focused on demonstrating that they can “not only get orders, but deliver.”
He said the latest orders for the A350 showed the airlines and lessors backed not only the plane , but the company after its troubles with the superjumbo.
Airbus said it hopes to deliver more than 450 planes this year, setting a record.