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News > International
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Airbus jet sales soar
graphic January 17, 2002: 6:53 a.m. ET

Orders fall almost 30%, trims 6,000 jobs, but sales soar on record deliveries
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  • Jet Blue to buy 10 Airbus A320s - Jan. 14, 2002
  • Lufthansa orders 15 superjumbos - Dec. 6, 2001
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  • Airbus
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    LONDON (CNN) - Airbus, the world's second-largest passenger jet maker, said on Thursday sales rose 19 percent as it delivered a record number of aircraft.

    But the Toulouse, France-based company said gross orders fell almost 30 percent to 375 in 2001 from 520 in the year earlier, as the industry headed into one of its worst slumps ever.

    Airlines cancelled 101 orders last year, dragging its net order intake down to 274 jets. Of those cancellations "90 percent are the result of companies faced with bankruptcy," said Airbus.

    The International Air Transport Association has said global airlines will make a loss this year of about $12 billion because airlines reported passenger numbers have fallen by about a third. Passenger numbers have picked up in the last two months, but airlines have grounded aircraft and cancelled orders to cope with an economic slowdown.

    Airbus, whose only competitor in the global market for large commercial aircraft is U.S. aerospace giant Boeing, said sales rose $20.5 billion from $17.2 billion in 2000 as it delivered a record 325 aircraft, up from 311 in 2000.

    Airbus beat its arch-rival Boeing for the second time in the past three years in the annual orders race. Boeing received 335 gross orders last year

    and 272 net orders after accounting for conversions and cancellations.

    Boeing has announced plans to cut up to 30,000 jobs in response to the global economic slowdown and the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Meanwhile, Airbus has stayed clear of axing jobs and still save graphic600 million this year.

    "We do not, so far, plan to lay off permanent staff," Chief Executive Noel Forgeard told CNN. "We have 40,000 people and Boeing will have between 65,000 and 75,000 after the layoffs. We produce the same number of aircraft, which means we have a leaner cost structure."

    Forgeard told a press conference that it would cut the equivalent of 6,000 permanent jobs from the group's payroll, through reduced work hours and pay cuts. The company insists no permanent jobs will go. He also said the company expects to deliver 300 jets to customers in 2003.

    The European Aeronautics, Defence and Space Company (EADS), which owns 80 percent of Airbus, rose 1.8 percent to graphic14.05 in early Paris trading on Thursday. graphic

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