A new leader in the world of aviation was crowned this week as it was revealed that the American planemaker Boeing has overtaken Airbus. This news may be a surprise to some, considering their record delivery totals for the year, but once the 2012 statistics for the two companies are compared the gap between them becomes more apparent. Airbus may have delivered an impressive 588 planes to 89 customers but its order total was down 41% from 1419 in 2011 to 833. In contrast, Boeing enjoyed a 49% rise from 805 orders in 2011 to 1203 in 2012.
While these statistics may not look good for Airbus, and it is clear to see why Boeing have overtaken them, the European planemaker seems to be taking the news rather well. In a Euronews interview, the CEO of Airbus, Fabrice Bregler, remarked that "who's ahead really isn't that important" and he continued to suggest that the rating was a temporary setback. Airbus seem determined to look forward and highlight the positives: these include the resolution to the problem of micro-cracks in the A380s; continual growth in Asia, thanks to a backlog of orders; the unveiling of a new, fuel-efficient fleet and the maiden flight of their rival to the 787 - the A350.
2012 may not have been the best year for Airbus but can they really overtake their arch-rivals in 2013? They are certainly confident about doing so. While they remain supportive of Boeing over the setback involving the batteries of the 787 Dreamliners, this mass grounding has not done the American planemaker any favours and industry specialists predict that it could cost them dear. In the interview, Bregler continued to speak positively, making the statement that "we're on the road to success, we have new programs, we're also gradually improving our profitability". If Airbus' plans are successful then they could very well be back on top by the end of 2013.