Airbus confirms deliveries rose 28% in first half of 2019

Airbus confirms deliveries rose 28% in first half of 2019
FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo is pictured at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse, France, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau -
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REGIS DUVIGNAU(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus confirmed on Tuesday that its deliveries rose by 28% in the first half of the year, putting it ahead of Boeing <BA.N> for the first time in eight years as the U.S. planemaker sees no immediate end to the grounding of its 737 MAX.

Airbus <AIR.PA> said it delivered 389 aircraft in the first half, confirming a figure first reported by Reuters on Friday.

Boeing <BA.N> reported a 37% drop in deliveries for the first half on Tuesday, due to the grounding of its best-selling jet in the wake of two fatal crashes.

Reuters reported last week that the first-half total of 389 aircraft would put Airbus on course to beat Boeing in 2019 but leave it with a record production task in the second half amid continued industrial snags at a Hamburg plant.

Les Echos reported on Monday that Airbus was shaving an internal delivery target, while maintaining its published guidance of 880-890 aircraft for 2019.

Airbus posted 88 net orders for the first half, easily outpacing Boeing which had a negative net total of 119 aircraft because it had more cancellations than orders during the period.

The European company was ahead on orders of narrow-body jets such as the newly launched A321XLR, which got its commercial debut with a stronger than expected tally at last month’s Paris Airshow, but remained behind on larger wide-body models.

Airbus posted 123 net narrow-body orders in the first half, compared with Boeing’s minus 180, while Boeing won the wide-body category with a positive total of 61 orders against Airbus’ negative tally of 35 wide-bodies after cancellations.

The figures do not include a surprise letter of intent for 200 Boeing 737 MAX planes announced by British Airways owner IAG <ICAG.L> at last month’s Paris air show.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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