(Adds United, airblue cancellations, background)
PARIS, July 4 (Reuters) - Airbus sold more than 200 aircraft in June during an unexpectedly busy month that saw some reshuffling of its order book, but took over 120 cancellations to end the first half behind U.S. rival Boeing, company data showed on Friday.
The European planemaker posted 515 orders between January and June, or 290 when adjusted for cancellations. Latest deals included 150 A320-family jets to one or more undisclosed buyers.
Latest data from the Toulouse-based company included the cancellation of 70 wide-body A350 jets by Dubai’s Emirates, which had beeen announced earlier in June.
Airbus delivered 303 aircraft in the first half, including 13 A380 superjumbos.
Boeing on Thursday reported 181 deliveries in the second-quarter, bringing its total for the year to 342. It reported 553 gross orders and 499 net orders for the first six months.
United Airlines cancelled 18 A320-family aircraft in June and Pakistani airline airblue cancelled all 13 of its outstanding orders for A320 aircraft, leaving just one which has already been delivered, the Airbus data showed.
This week’s updates set the tone for a vigorous contest at the Farnborough Airshow, with Boeing acknowledging the gap may be narrower after the July 14-20 event outside London.
Airbus is expected to announce several hundred orders at the world’s largest aviation exhibition, while Boeing is seen as close to finalizing an order for 150 777X jets from Emirates.
A Boeing official accused Airbus this week of holding back orders to make a bigger impact in the Farnborough spotlight.
“As usual, we expect the race to tighten up once Airbus rolls out its stockpiled orders en masse the week of the show,” Randy Tinseth, vice-president for marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a blog on Boeing’s website.
“We announce orders when ready,” an Airbus spokesman said. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Brian Love)