Airbus says aircraft market 'still strong' despite cancellations

Airbus A350

Airbus has said that the market for commercial aircraft is "still very strong" despite a wave of cancelled orders.

It has reported 225 cancellations since the start of the year.

Last month Dubai's Emirates Airline cancelled an order for 70 of Airbus's A350 wide-bodied aircraft.

Chief Executive Tom Enders said half the cancellations resulted from conversions to orders for different aircraft and 'overbooking'.

He said: "We are not approaching the end of the cycle or a precipice. The commercial aircraft market is still very strong - certain regional weak spots notwithstanding, but we can deal with that."

He added that with the new A320 due for delivery from 2015, Airbus is encouraging existing buyers to take the new version and cancel the old order.

Of the 225 cancellations in the first half of the year, 65 happened in this way.

Airbus Group N.V.

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Recovery

Airbus shares recovered some 4.5% on Wednesday having fallen more than 8% since investors started to worry about cancellations after the Farnborough Air show two weeks ago.

The European plane maker's results for the first half of the year released showed a 10% increase in core operating profit and 6% rise in revenue led by aeroplane and helicopter sales.

Aircraft deliveries in the second quarter rose to 162 from 151 in the same period last year.

Mr Enders also said that Airbus was actively considering the sale of its 46% share of Dassault Aviation, maker of the Rafale combat jet, and Falcon business jets.

He said the sale of the stake, valued at around 5bn euros was "not a question of if but ... when."

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