PARIS, Oct 9 (AFP): Airbus and Boeing, the two global giants of civil aircraft manufacturing, are heading for a record year as airlines use a pick-up in demand from travellers to renew and expand their existing fleets.
Amid transatlantic sniping over subsidies and state aid given to the companies, Boeing and Airbus have already taken more than 1,000 orders for new commercial planes this year.
Investment by airlines in new aircraft comes despite the soaring costs of aviation fuel, with the renewed confidence grounded in the emergence of the air travel market from a three-year depression following the September 11 attacks.
With three months to go until the end of the year, Airbus's commercial director John Leahy has said the companies will push close to the record 1,500 orders taken in 1986.
His counterpart at Boeing, Scott Larson, believes that the industry has never had it so good.
From January to September, Boeing received 605 firm orders and Airbus an estimated 400.
Despite the buoyancy of the aircraft market, the United States and Europe have locked horns in a battle for supremacy in aircraft manufacturing.