Airbus outpaces Boeing with fuel-efficient planes

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Beyond the race to announce orders, Airbus finalized a deal with Rolls-Royce to supply new, more powerful engines for a revamped version of the A350-1000, a stretched model of Airbus A350 wide-bodied, medium- to long-haul jets.

Airbus said Saturday it was delaying the first delivery of the A350-1000 version by two years until 2017 because, it said, customers demanded a more powerful engine. Airbus says the jet will burn 25 percent less fuel than Boeing‘s 777-300ER, its main competitor.

Airbus brought in orders and commitments for 263 planes worth a total of $26.1 billion so far this week.

As the show opened on Monday, Airbus and Boeing announced a total of $25 billion in orders, options and commitments.

The haul was an improvement from recent years despite a challenging environment for the industry, which faces high fuel prices, a slowing global economy, and uncertainty caused by violence in the Middle East and Japan’s natural disasters.

Airbus topped the totals, signing orders and commitments for 142 aircraft worth $15 billion at list prices, the company said Monday.

Rival Boeing countered with more than $11 billion worth of orders and commitments for 56 of its jets, including an order by Qatar Airways for six of its 777 jets in a $1.7 billion deal.

Soaring fuel costs are a major issue for Airbus and Boeing customers, who will see their profits plunge to $4 billion this year from $18 billion in 2010, according to a forecast by the International Air Transport Association.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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