First-half order tallies for Airbus Group and Boeing showed a combined 41 percent drop from 2014, reflecting a slowdown in jet demand after airlines and lessors spent recent years gorging on new planes.

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First-half order tallies for Airbus Group and Boeing showed a 41 percent drop from 2014, reflecting a slowdown in jet demand after airlines and lessors spent recent years gorging on new planes.

Airbus’ commercial plane division booked orders for 135 planes last month, bringing the year’s tally of net orders through June 30 to 348 planes, compared with 281 for Boeing, according to figures from the companies’ websites. Airbus delivered 304 planes so far this year versus 381 for Boeing.

The order totals reported Monday gave an initial look at sales that included purchases at last month’s Paris Air Show, the industry’s biggest annual event. Between them, the plane makers booked 629 firm orders, down from 1,048 in the first six months of 2014.

The comparison was even more striking because last year’s count didn’t include results from the Farnborough Air Show, which alternates with the Paris forum. Boeing and Airbus, the world’s two biggest plane makers, saw backlogs reach records at the end of 2014 as buyers sought relief from rising jet-fuel prices by adding new, more-efficient models.

 

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Boeing premiered its new 787-9 airplane with a dramatic take-off at the Paris Air Show June 15, 2015. Read more from the 2015 Paris Air Show. (Dominic Gates / The Seattle Times)    

Airbus and Boeing went to this year’s Paris show without new models such as the re-engined jets or updated wide-bodies that were stars at recent events. While they announced more than $100 billion in deals in Paris, most of the purchases weren’t firm orders.

Airbus’ order lead for the six months rests on the success of its A320neo single-aisle aircraft with new engines, which was announced more than six months ahead of Boeing’s 737 MAX model. The European plane maker has garnered about 60 percent of the market with the neo, to about 40 percent for the MAX.

Boeing has done better on larger, costlier widebody jets. The Chicago-based plane maker’s order intake in that category was 78 planes; Airbus trailed with 58. Toulouse, France-based Airbus sold 290 narrow-body jets to Boeing’s 203.