Airbus announces record 2013 but trails Boeing in deliveries race

European planemaker Airbus has announced record deliveries for 2013, but figures fell short of those posted by American rival Boeing.

The company confirmed it had exceeded commercial expectations with 626 aircraft deliveries for last year, but this was less than Boeing, which announced 648 deliveries last week.

Deliveries in 2013 rose for the 12th year in a row, surpassing the previous record set in 2012 by an additional 38 aircraft.

It did however reclaim top spot from its rival to achieve figures of 1,619 in new plane orders, having repeatedly revised up its targets last year.

At the end of 2013, a year which saw the maiden flight of Airbus’ new A350 XWB and the company take $70m in orders at the Paris Air Show, it commanded a 51 per cent gross market share for aircraft above 100 seats.

The new aircraft also saw its first order from Japan, while the established A380 model continued to dominate the Very Large Aircraft market with 50 new orders.

Fabrice Bregier, Airbus president and CEO, said the results show positive signs going forward for the company, which hired 3,000 people last year.

“The transformation of our company into a simpler, more agile and faster one is clearly taking shape. We are producing aircraft at all-time-highs and selling our market leading products at record levels,” he said.

“These benchmark results are feeding nicely into our profitability targets, and I am proud to report that the trajectory is showing strongly upwards. To expand our leadership in single aisles and widebodies, 2014 will be significant with the first flight of the A320neo and the Entry Into Service of the A350 XWB,” he added.