Airbus won hundreds more plane orders in 2015 than rival Boeing

Airbus won hundreds more plane orders in 2015 than rival Boeing

PARIS — Airbus won hundreds more plane orders last year than rival Boeing, but the American company handed over more aircraft to customers.

Airbus SA said Tuesday that it exceeded its targets in 2015, taking in 1,036 net orders and delivering 635 jets to airlines and other buyers. The manufacturer based in Toulouse, France, has a backlog of 6,787 aircraft worth $996.3 billion at list prices, though customers usually negotiate discounts.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. says on its website that it took in 768 orders last year and delivered 762 aircraft.

While Airbus won the orders race, Boeing had more success selling big-budget wide-body jets such as the 787. Most of the planes Airbus sold were from the single-aisle A320 range of jets.

The companies are battling especially hard to win market share in China.

A similar situation played out the previous year, as Boeing topped Airbus in deliveries, 723 to 629, but Airbus edged its U.S. rival in future orders, with 1,456 to Boeing’s 1,432. New orders are key to expanding future market share.

Airbus announced plans last year to ratchet up production to catch up on deliveries.

CEO Fabrice Bregier said Tuesday the company will continue to increase production of the A350 wide-body.

He admitted the company faced a “challenge” with the A330 last year. Demand for the jet is slowing as Airbus starts taking orders for a new-engine version of the plane that it says it will begin delivering at the end of 2017.

He boasted that Airbus will be the only world manufacturer able to produce planes in three continents — Europe, North America and Asia. Airbus opened a plant in Mobile, Alabama, last year.

Chinese companies agreed in 2015 to build a Boeing assembly plant there, as the U.S. company tries to match Airbus’s presence in the world’s second-largest economy.

China, too, is trying to get in on the industry. Chinese state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. has unveiled the first plane produced by a Chinese initiative to compete in the market for large passenger jetliners, with the C919 jetliner.