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Airbus Needs Monthly Record to Meet Its 2012 Jet Delivery Target

Airbus SAS must deliver a record number of aircraft this month to meet its 2012 target as the company risks losing its spot as the No. 1 aircraft maker to Boeing Co. (BA) for the first time since 2003.

Airbus shipped 54 aircraft last month and has handed over 516 airliners through November, the Toulouse, France-based unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. said today on its website. Boeing said yesterday it delivered 537 aircraft in the period.

Airbus plans to deliver about 580 airliners this year, a company record. That will require the manufacturer to top a three-year-old mark of 61 aircraft in a single month. It still has to ship five A380s to meet its target for 30 this year.

A deal with an undisclosed customer for 100 narrow-body A320 airliners helped Airbus secure a year-high 186 order bookings in November, pushing it to a positive book-to-bill ratio for the year and taking the company past the 12,000 total order mark. Airbus had been in talks with Chinese airlines and Air Asia Co. for additional A320 sales.

Deals booked last month, including a contract with China Aircraft Leasing Co. for 36 narrow-bodies, brings the full-year intake to 646 gross orders, four shy of its 2012 forecast. Cancellations rose to 61 aircraft.

Chicago-based Boeing booked 1,156 orders through Dec. 4 and suffered 104 cancellations.

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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