Boeing Tops Airbus in 1st Quarter Sales, Airbus Leads Deliveries

Airbus received orders for 37 planes in March, bringing sales booked in the first quarter to 134 aircraft, the planemaker said.

The orders included 28 single-aisle A320-family jets and 7 wide-bodied aircraft including 2 A350-900 planes ordered by Finnish airline Finnair.

The figures confirm estimates derived from bi-monthly data contained in an Airbus newsletter released earlier on Thursday.

Rival Boeing sold 189 aircraft in the first quarter, figures released today showed.

The Chicago-based company grabbed leadership in the order race in 2006 for the first time in five years after winning support for its 787 Dreamliner while Airbus dithered over its own designs.

The two A350s ordered by Finnair are the first firm orders since Airbus changed its design last year, and come on top of 9 orders for an earlier version which were also converted into firm orders for the new "extra wide body" mid-sized plane.

Airbus was hit by sporadic walkouts over sweeping job cuts in March, but production was not seriously affected, with deliveries falling to 39 aircraft from 42 in February, it said.

The company, a unit of EADS, delivered a total of 115 planes in the first quarter, compared with Boeing's 106.