Airbus Suffers Six Freighter Cancellations as Slump Hits Cargo

Airbus SAS (EAD) lost six A330-200F freighters from its order tally last month as a shrinking air- cargo market prompts a spate of cancellations.

Airbus’s order and delivery figures for June, posted on its website today, omit the contract from U.S. investment firm MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC placed in 2008 and listed in May numbers from the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer.

The move brings A330-200F cancellations for the year to eight aircraft after U.S. lessor Intrepid Aviation switched two contracts to passenger variants earlier this year.

The order book for Airbus’s only new-build freighter has declined from a high of 72 planes in 2008 to 52 last month, of which 13 have been delivered. Cargo traffic fell 1.9 percent in May, the most recent month for which data is available, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Airbus booked 104 orders in June: 100 A320neo narrow-bodies from Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, a purchase originally revealed in January, and four A380s from Russia’s OAO TransAero Airlines (TAER), first announced last October. The order intake for 2012 reached 253 aircraft, or 230 net of cancellations, lagging behind U.S. rival Boeing Co. (BA), which has racked up 476 gross orders and 440 net as the new 737 MAX narrow-body spurs sales.

Airbus deliveries in the first six months reached 279 aircraft, including 10 double-decker A380s. That’s ahead of last year’s mid-year figure, though behind Boeing’s 287.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, the Middle East’s third- largest carrier, also converted six A320 orders to larger A321s.

Airbus and Boeing are both likely to get an order boost next week at the U.K.’s Farnborough Air Show, the year’s biggest aerospace expo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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