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Airbus Lifts A380 Deliveries to Record in Bid to Meet Target

Airbus SAS said it delivered a record five of its A380 jets in October as it struggles to meet a full-year target of handing over 30 of its flagship aircraft.

The planemaker, based in Toulouse, delivered 22 A380s in the first 10 months, out of a total 462 aircraft that were handed over to customers in the period, it said in a statement. Airbus’s total deliveries touched a year-high of 57 last month. Deliveries of A380s have lagged as Airbus resolves a wing-fault.

Boeing Co., which has lagged behind Airbus deliveries since 2003, appears likely to become No. 1 again in 2012 for number of planes handed over. Airbus is projecting deliveries of about 580 planes while Boeing is planning 585 to 600. Boeing has already delivered 486 through October.

Orders in the first 10 months totaled 460 planes, less than one-half of Boeing’s 1,012 orders. October alone brought 23 new bookings, with two cancelations for A320s. That brings the total cancellation figure to 57 for the year so far.

Airbus’s tally leaves it with only two months to meet its stated goal of winning contracts for 650 planes in 2012. Airbus had largely expected to lag Boeing because the European planemaker began offering single-aisle planes with new engines almost a year before its U.S. rival, meaning the big wave of orders for the re-engined planes came in 2011.

After 10 months, Airbus has still brought in contracts for only four A380s this year so far, compared with a year-end goal of 30.

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