Airbus Boeing orders take a dive

BOTH Airbus and Boeing have seen a big hit to their orders for aircraft. Airbus is now forecasting only 14 deliveries of A380s this year instead of the previously expected 21, with 2010 figures also down to 20 deliveries instead of the expected 45.

John Leahy, chief operating officer of Airbus said: “We have absolutely no plans to lower the prices of our aircraft. We have got a record backlog [of 3,600 aircraft]. So if we end up using our backlog we would then take production down. We will not just discount the airplane.”

However, he went on to admit that Middle East airlines, such as Emirates and Qatar Airways, which comprise a significant amount of Airbus orders, are being offered heavy discounts.

Meanwhile, Boeing has had 59 orders cancelled this year, 57 of them for the long-delayed but much sought after 787. Boeing’s April orders were posted as 17, down from 58 in the same month last year. This now leaves the manufacturer with a negative balance of one order for 2009.

Airbus blamed the reduction in orders on “the current economic and aviation crisis and following specific customer requests for deferrals” and both still claim to be optimistic despite the hammering their orders have taken.

At Boeing’s annual meeting last week, Jim McNerney, chairman and chief executive, said that Boeing’s backlog of orders and the eventual delivery of the 787 made the company fit enough to ride out a “once-in-a-lifetime” downturn.

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