Boeing edges out Airbus in Q1

With the first quarter of 2015 done and dusted, it was Boeing who drew first blood in its battle with rival Airbus after recording higher deliveries and orders for the period. In figures released on Tuesday (April 7), the US aircraft manufacturer posted net orders for 110 aircraft between January and March, beating its European competitor’s haul of 101.

Despite Boeing’s victory coming as a result of Airbus having orders for 20 A320 family aircraft cancelled (orders from Philippines Air, AirAsia and Lufthansa), the news will nevertheless be well received by the Seattle-based OEM following a 2014 which saw Airbus win the order race with 1,456 net orders, to Boeing’s 1,432.

Tuesday’s news followed last Friday’s (April 3) announcement that during the traditionally slow Q1, Boeing also bested Airbus in Q1 2015 for aircraft deliveries. Boeing delivered 184 aircraft between January and March, up from last year’s 161 and far outstripping Airbus’ 134 aircraft deliveries.

Boeing’s deliveries were boosted by the 787,30 of which were delivered in Q1 2015, up from 18 in Q1 2014 and putting it in line to meet the OEM’s target for 120 787 deliveries this year.

The OEM also posted on-target deliveries of the 737 (121), 747 (4), 757 (5) and the 777 (24).  

Airbus, meanwhile, logged just one delivery of the 787 rival the A350, and four A380s. The lion’s share of Airbus’s deliveries was made up of the ever-reliable A320 family, which accounted for 109 deliveries.

Q1 2015 also marked a slide in Airbus’ deliveries, down from 141 for the same period last year, including a notable drop from 28 to 20 A330 aircraft following a cut in production rates.

While the two OEMs are neck and neck in the battle for narrowbody supremacy, the results show Boeing further asserting its dominance in the widebody aircraft market.

To bridge the gap, it is expected that Airbus will sharply ramp up production of the A350 this year, something that could significantly impact on the annual results come the end of 2015.

With Q1 representing a mere starting point in the arduous annual marathon, which includes the not so small matter of the Paris Air Show in June, the question is can Boeing maintain its lead or will Airbus close the gap?

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