Airbus, Boeing Tally Dismal First-Quarter Order Totals

 - April 6, 2009, 9:39 AM

Airbus ended the month of March with firm orders for 16 airplanes, raising its annual total out of red figures for the first time this year, to a net total of eight airplanes. Meanwhile, Boeing added orders for five 737s from an unidentified customer during the last week of the month–not enough, however, to raise its order count out of negative territory. As of March 31, its order tally stood at negative four.

Airbus booked firm orders for 10 A320s from Ireland’s Aircraft Purchase Fleet leasing company and six A330-200s from Korean Air during the month. The European airframer announced the Korean Air order on February 27, even though the airline didn’t actually signed the final contract until March 2. Airbus registered the 10-aircraft order for A320s from Aircraft Purchase Fleet on March 31, just in time to lift the company out of negative territory for the quarter.

The combined first-quarter net order count of four airplanes for the two companies stands in stark contrast with a first-quarter total in 2008 of 684 aircraft–289 for Boeing and 395 for Airbus.