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Aviation

Airbus looks back at record 2013 orders, but there's a flaw

European aircraft maker Airbus has reported record orders and sales in 2013, beating US rival Boeing. But the full story revealed Airbus lagged behind with regard to actual deliveries of finished planes.

European plane maker Airbus said Monday it took a total of 1,503 net orders throughout 2013, racing ahead of US rival Boeing which reported 1,355 orders for the same period.

Both companies enjoyed a banner year as airlines were active renewing their fleets with a view to cutting fuel costs and preparing for more growth in air travel.

Airbus said some of the biggest demand came from once struggling US airlines as well as from emerging markets particularly in Asia.

Fuel efficiency and comfort

Aviation industry suppliers under pressure

But while the European aircraft maker took the lead in terms of orders and sales, it could not beat Boeing in terms of actual deliveries of finished planes. In 2013, Airbus supplied 626 planes to clients, while Boeing delivered 648.

Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier noted the company was considering increasing production of its best-selling plane, the Airbus A320, which was popular with low-cost airlines.

"If the market remains positive, I think we would be silly not to ramp up again," Bregier told reporters in Toulouse, France.

The plane maker added it would also continue to focus on its A380 superjumbo which it said was answering a key demand for air travelers, with notably more space and wider seats for long-haul flights where passenger comfort is more prized.

hg/hc (AFP, AP, dpa)

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