Airbus wins 2017 order race after last-minute sales spree

PARIS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Frenetic selling in the closing weeks of 2017 saw Airbus overhaul Boeing's recent lead in the global jet market to win their annual order contest for the fifth year running, while remaining behind its U.S. rival in the number of planes built.

The European planemaker said on Monday that net orders after cancellations rose 52 percent to 1,109 aircraft in 2017, placing it ahead of Boeing's 912 net orders. Airbus posted 1,229 gross or unadjusted orders compared with Boeing's 1,053.

Airbus confirmed it had met its core 2017 delivery target of more than 700 aircraft by releasing 718 jets to customers in 2017, up 4 percent from the previous year despite some industrial delays.

Boeing remained the world's largest jetmaker for the sixth year running with a record total of 763 deliveries.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)