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UPDATE 1-Airline shake-ups dent Airbus order surge in Feb
March 7, 2014 / 11:56 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Airline shake-ups dent Airbus order surge in Feb

PARIS, March 7 (Reuters) - Airline shake-ups in Indonesia and Serbia dented a surge in orders for Airbus aircraft in February, but the European planemaker edged ahead in its annual order race with Boeing, company data showed on Friday.

After a busy Singapore Airshow, the Airbus Group subsidiary took 108 new aircraft orders in February including confirmation of a leasing order for its A380 superjumbo and a long-awaited deal with Kuwait Airways.

The world’s second-largest planemaker after Boeing reported a total of 118 orders for the first two months of the year and 38 cancellations, bringing cumulative net orders to 80.

Boeing reported 112 orders in the same period.

February data included 33 new cancellations for medium-haul A320 family aircraft linked to two airline reorganizations.

Struggling Indonesian carrier Mandala Airlines cancelled an order for 25 A320 jets.

The airline had placed the order in 2007 but later ran into trouble and is now part of a venture with Singapore’s Tiger Airways, which wants to share its own A320 fleet.

Tiger lost nearly S$40 million ($31.6 million) in the venture in April-December, and people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week that Tiger aims to sell or close the Tigerair Mandala venture unless there are signs of it turning around this year.

PT Mandala Airlines resumed flights in 2012 after a financial restructuring under which Tiger bought a one-third stake, raised to 35.8 percent in September.

Tigerair Mandala was not immediately available for comment.

Air Serbia, meanwhile, cancelled an order for 8 slightly smaller A319 aircraft in February. Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways recently took over a 49 percent stake and management of the troubled Serbian carrier, previously known as Jat.

Etihad is building up a family of airlines through minority stakes and aims to coordinate major items like fleet purchases.

The latest Airbus data confirmed an order for 20 A380 superjumbos from leasing company Amedeo, previously known as Doric Lease Corp.

The planemaker hopes the only current leasing customer for the world’s largest passenger jet will be able to bring in new customers after a slow period of sales.

In terms of deliveries, which drive current-year revenue, Airbus pushed out 83 aircraft in January and February, leaving it behind Boeing, which delivered 95, data from both companies showed.

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