European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has delivered about 30 aircraft to Middle East airlines so far in 2010, outperforming its US competitor Boeing, which has delivered just 10.

Airbus plans to have delivered 480 aircraft to regional airlines by the end of the year.

A further setback for Boeing is another delay in the delivery of its Dreamliner 787 aircraft. The first delivery of the Dreamliner has now been moved to the middle of the first quarter of 2011 following an initial expectation of the beginning of the year.

Boeing aircraft orders
Airline Boeing 787
Emirates 0
Etihad 35
Qatar Airways 30
Gulf Air 24
Alafco 22
Iraqi Airways 10
Royal Jordanian 7
Source: MEED

“The failure of an engine during testing has led to a delay in Rolls-Royce engine availability has extended that estimate to mid first quarter 2011,” says a spokeswoman at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

This marks the sixth delay in the scheduled delivery date. The plane’s first delivery was originally due in August 2007.

In the Middle East region, Boeing has 128 orders for the 787 aircraft. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has 35 on order, Qatar Airways has 30, Kuwait’s Alafco has 22, Gulf Air has 24 and Royal Jordanian has 10.

Unfortunately for Boeing, the 10 787 planes Iraqi Airways has on order could potentially be cancelled as the airline is being dissolved (MEED 3:6:10).

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has already cancelled 25 orders for Boeing, including 15 for the 787 jet. The list price for a 787 ranges between $150m and $205.5m, depending on the model.

So far in 2010, Dubai-based Emirates Airline has ordered 30 Boeing 777 planes at a cost of $9.1bn, Qatar Airways has ordered two 777 planes and Royal Jordanian ordered three of its 787 aircraft.

“As ever, a shift in deliveries will almost certainly result in yet more compensation payments being made by Boeing and in a region largely dominated by the presence of larger Airbus A350 sales, Boeing can ill afford to continually delay the 787 if it aims to restore parity with its European rival,” warns Saj Ahmad, an analyst at UK-based FBE Aerospace.

Boeing says that it remains committed to delivering the aircraft, which has sold more planes than any other manufacturer.

“We have said for some time that we are learning lessons as we go and we are re-drawing the lines and adjusting where necessary to bring the most value to our customers, our shareholders and our employees over the life of the programme,” the spokeswoman says.

European manufacturer Airbus however is having a good year in the region having sold 52 aircraft so far this year.

The biggest order came from Emirates- 32 Airbus A380 planes for $11.5bn meaning Emirates now has a total of 78 Airbus A380s on order and 70 A350s.

Yemenia Airlines ordered 10 Airbus A320 jets in January and Bahraini Gulf Air has 10 A380s on order. EgyptAir’s first A330 aircraft was also delivered in August.

Despite these successes, DAE cancelled its 25 orders for Airbus A320 and A350 jets.

Airbus still plans to deliver 628 aircraft to airlines in the Middle East and North Africa region up until 2020.