A surge of late bookings has helped Airbus pip arch rival Boeing at the post to record the highest sales in 2010.
The European aircraft manufactured received 644 new orders last year, worth $84bn at their full list price, with 200 of them placed in December.
Boeing meanwhile had to accept second place with 625 plane orders.
After allowing for cancellations of existing orders, Airbus - with 574 net new orders and a 52 percent market share - still beat Boeing, which received 530 net orders.
Both firms saw their number of orders approximately double from last year, as airlines showed increasing confidence as they emerge from the downturn.
“Aviation is growing again because of Asia, low-cost carriers and emerging markets,” said Airbus head of sales John Leahy.
His comments follow an order from Easyjet earlier this month for 15 A320s.
“The figures show the economy is improving,” added Mr Leahy. “The only negative on the horizon is the fuel price.”
Airbus also maintained its eight-year lead over Boeing in the number of deliveries of finished planes.
The firm reported 510 deliveries for the year, up 12 percent from 2009, and has set a target of 520-530 for 2011.
That compares with 462 for Boeing, which was down 4 percent on 2009.