Airbus takes record orders in 2011, beating Boeing

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Airbus took in a record number of orders for new commercial aircraft last year as strong demand for its revamped single-aisle plane helped it best U.S. rival Boeing Co. in the race for orders for the fourth year running.

The European jet maker said Tuesday that it took in 1,419 net new orders in 2011, worth $140 billion, well above Boeing’s total of 805 aircraft. That topped the previous record of 1,413 net orders recorded by Boeing in 2007.

Airbus also delivered 534 aircraft last year, up from 510 a year earlier and keeping the title of world’s biggest jet maker that it has held since 2003. Boeing delivered 477 aircraft in 2011.

For this year, Airbus targets around 570 jet deliveries, including about 30 of its A380 super jumbo, the world’s largest commercial jet.

Airbus’ recent success has been based on its revamped single aisle jet the A320neo.

It’s a modified version of the existing workhorse jet, the A320, with improved engines and modified wingtips to make it allegedly 15 percent more fuel-efficient than Boeing’s 737.

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