Airbus expects to book more narrow-body plane orders than Boeing over the two years ending December 2012, its chief executive said at the Farnborough Airshow, defending the European firm's position against its US rival.
Earlier on Monday, Boeing landed the first big order of the aerospace industry's showcase event, indicating its narrow-body 737 MAX is catching up with Airbus's A320neo in the crucial short-haul segment of the market.
"Last year was exceptional as we had just announced the launch of the A320neo, but this year I believe will be a good show and will help us to achieve what we expect this year, which is around 650 new orders," Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said.
"I am pretty sure that, since we launched the neo (December 2010) by the end of 2012, we will still be ahead of Boeing with their product."
Boeing was being "very aggressive" on the price it offers to customers, Bregier added, fanning speculation that competition between the two firms is reaching a new level of intensity.
"We have a competitor who is trying to come back and so is very aggressive regarding the prices. But we keep the line. We keep cool. We have already 1,400 aircraft in the order book, so we are not in a rush, and when we sell the A320neos, we make a very good margin," he said.
Bregier said he was not worried about slow sales of a new version of Airbus's wide-body A350 plane.
"I would not be surprised to have good news (on the A350-1000) during this air show," he added.