Will Announce Figures January 16
It's gonna be close. On Thursday, EADS Chief Executive Louis
Gallois teased industry watchers eagerly awaiting next week's
announcement of Airbus' 2007 orders numbers, saying the Airbus
total "will be approximately the same as Boeing."
Gallois did not give exact numbers, of course... those will come
next Wednesday, when Airbus officially announces its sales total
for last year. Nor did he say whether Airbus managed to surpass
Boeing's record 1,413 firm orders.
"Tom Enders will give you the precise figure next week, but it
is in any case clearly the best performance in our history,"
Gallois told a news conference, according to Reuters.
There are some indicators, though, that Boeing may in fact come
out ahead. Gallois acknowledged Airbus' 2007 firm order figure
won't include a massive 150-plane deal announced in October with
China, as the final details are still being ironed out. As ANN reported Wednesday,
the 2007 tally also won't include a 75-plane deal with Dublin-based
aircraft lessor AWAS, which was signed December 22... but Airbus
didn't receive payment towards the order until this month.
Airbus does have several pending orders in the offing, however
-- including a 100-plane deal announced at November's Dubai Air
Show -- which will likely be applied to its 2007 sales numbers.
Through November 2007, Airbus had recorded 1,204 gross orders,
including pending deals and options.
Gallois told reporters it doesn't matter which planemaker comes
out on top (which is either a subtle jab at Boeing, or a
magnanimous gesture, take your pick -- Ed.) Regardless of which
planemaker captures the sales crown in 2007, the year was a record
one for both planemakers, as the two manufacturing giants combined
for around 2,800 orders -- far surpassing the previous best of
2,057 net deals in 2005.
The EADS chief did say Airbus took in some $183 billion in new
orders, at list prices, in 2007.