Jan 13 - Airbus has posted an industry record of 1,619 new airplane orders in 2013. As Hayley Platt reports the European plane maker is now considering increasing production in its most popular jets.
It's an industry record for Airbus. 1,619 new aircraft orders in 2013. CEO Fabrice Bregier. SOUNDBITE: Fabrice Bregier, CEO Airbus, saying (English): "It's a fantastic achievement that confirms first that the market is very positively orientated second that our products are matching the requirements of the airlines and that we are leading the show both on single aisle and also wide bodies." Airbus beat U.S. rivals Boeing by 88 aircraft But lost the delivery contest for a second year by just 22 planes. Airbus' biggest orders came from Emirates Airlines. It bought 53 A380's while Japan Airlines ordered 31 A350's. Planemakers have largely managed to ride out the recession. They've benefitted from growth in emerging markets and U.S. airlines replacing older models. But that's created a backlog of jets. Airbus ended 2013 with more than $800 billion worth of orders to deliver. SOUNDBITE: Fabrice Bregier, CEO Airbus, saying (English): "The backlog is about 5,500 net aircraft. It means with the current production rate in 2013 this is even close to 9 years of production." Boeing has a similar problem and both planemakers are looking to increase production. Boeing hopes to be making 47 737's a month by 2017 - beating Airbus's current monthly tally of 42 A320s. And it isn't all plain-sailing at Airbus. The carbon fibre A350 - designed to compete with Boeing's popular Dreamliner - is still two months from certification trials. Airbus admits, while still on track for a year-end delivery, its development is proving challenging.