Airbus edges out Boeing in 2014 order numbers

<p>Airbus has “exceeded it targets for 2014″ as it prepares the first commercial flight of its new A350 airliner.</p>

Airbus has edged out US aircraft Boeing in the amount of orders over the past year.

The European aircraft manufacturing company announced that it had "exceeded it targets for 2014" after winning 1,456 net orders during the last 12 months. While it was down on the 1,503 recorded in 2013, it beat Boeing's total of 1,432 and secured work at its sites in France, Germany, Spain and the UK for the next nine years.

Airbus' announcement comes as the company readies itself to launch the new A350. The latest aircraft off the company's production line has already generated interest across the world. Qatar Airways has purchased 80 of the aircraft, whose wings are made at Airbus' facility in Broughton, Flintshire.

Despite being a positive year overall for Airbus, there have been concerns over the double-decker A380. The world's largest passenger airline is currently used by a number of the world's top airlines such as Qantas, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa but there has been a drop-off in new orders of late.

However, Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of the main planemaking unit of Airbus, maintained that the "best days of the A380 are ahead". He highlighted that an increase in traffic would lead many airlines to require the largest plane available to them. Boeing disagreed stating that airlines prefer smaller aircraft.

Mr Bregier added that passenger satisfaction of the A380 has been positive stating that "everyone who has flown the A380, loves the A380". He also expects passenger demand to double every ten to 15 years.

The A350 is set to be the next aircraft off the production. The plane boasts a wingspan of 64.75 metres and will be able to fly at a maximum altitude of 43,100ft with a top speed of 944km/h. It has already been in high demand with Airbus receiving 778 orders from 41 airlines, with Qatar Airways accounting for 80 of these.

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