5 de febrero de 2015 / 17:54 / en 3 años

UPDATE 1-Airbus gains head start in 2015 order race with Avianca deal

(Recasts with preliminary Avianca order, Boeing data)

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Airbus reported a roughly $11 billion preliminary order from Colombian airline group Avianca Holdings on Thursday, gaining a head start in its 2015 order race with U.S. rival Boeing subject to a final confirmation of the deal.

The memorandum of understanding for 100 A320neo-family jets is worth $10.6 billion at list prices based on the main model of the three-member Airbus narrow-body family of aircraft.

Avianca Holdings controls Avianca-Taca, which was formed from the merger of Colombian carrier Avianca and El Salvador’s Taca in 2010.

The draft deal emerged after Airbus and Boeing tied in a quiet month of January with 5 new orders apiece, though Boeing also got a cancellation for one of its 787 Dreamliners.

Airbus said it had won five firm orders in the month for the current version of its A330 aircraft, helping plug a potential gap in production as it works on a revamped version of the wide-body jet to enter service in 2017.

It said the order for five A330-200s, worth $1.1 billion at list prices, came from a new customer that it did not identify.

Boeing posted five orders worth $500 million at list prices from All Nippon Airways for the current version of its 737 series, another aircraft in the process of being revamped.

After delivering five A330s in January, Airbus now has a backlog of 193 of the wide-body A330 including freighters.

It is under pressure to find new sales to support production of the 20-year-old current version of the wide-body jet, which faces competition from Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of Airbus Group’s main planemaking business, said this month he expected more A330 orders soon but not enough to avoid lower production after 2015.

Airbus produces 10 A330s a month and plans to trim this to nine in the fourth quarter. Analysts believe it could have to cut to as few as six a month.

Airbus meanwhile delivered 36 aircraft in January, including one A380 to Dubai’s Emirates, company data showed on Thursday.

The European planemaker beat U.S. rival Boeing in orders last year after a surge of new business in December, but remained behind in deliveries for a third year. (Reporting by James Regan and Tim Hepher; Editing by David Holmes and Mark Potter)

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