UPDATE 1-Boeing jet orders surge; on track to be top planemaker
Jan 3 (Reuters) - Boeing Co said it booked 1,203 net orders for planes and delivered 601 new jets in 2012, a performance that likely puts it ahead of rival Airbus for the prize of being the world's largest planemaker.
Boeing's tally of 601 planes delivered to customers puts it ahead of Airbus' stated target of 580 deliveries for the year.
Airbus figures won't be announced until Jan. 17, but Boeing's tally makes it virtually certain the Chicago-based company will regain the crown as the world's largest planemaker, a title its rival has held for a decade.
Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, won the most new orders over the last two years, a period when both companies introduced new versions of their top-selling single-aisle planes, the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX.
Airbus has so far announced 721 gross orders for 2012, bringing its two-year total to 2,329. That tops Boeing's count of 2,260 for the two years, based on 1,339 gross orders in 2012 and 921 in 2011.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Bernadette Baum)