THE head of Airbus’s Broughton plant has paid tribute to his workforce as the planemaker announced record orders for its aircraft.

Airbus delivered a company record of 588 aircraft to 89 customers in 2012 and net orders reached 833 aircraft worth £60bn.

The European planemaker –which employs up to 6,500 people at its wing-making factory in Broughton – revealed it had exceeded its order target of 650 by winning 914 deals and 17 new customers.

Paul McKinlay, head of the Broughton plant, said: “It is great news that we have exceeded order and delivery targets and I want to pay tribute to the teams working at Broughton as they have played a major part in achieving that goal.

“The next year will present new challenges and we cannot afford to relax, especially with even more ambitious target, but I am confident that we will rise to these challenges.”

These orders include 305 CEO, 478 NEO, 82 A330/A340s, 40 A350 XWB and nine A380s. Airbus’s backlog sets a new industry-wide record of 4,682 aircraft valued at more than £400bn.

Deliveries were 10% higher than the 2011 record (534) and 2012 was the 11th year in a row of increased production.

Airbus’ share of total aircraft sales by value (above 100 seats) in 2012, is 41%.

Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier said: “Looking back over 2012, we can proudly say it was a fantastic year.

“We delivered a record number of aircraft, which highlights our increasing efficiency, and the market again demonstrated its confidence in all our products.

“In 2012 we delivered the first Sharklet aircraft and, with a commanding lead in the single aisle market, the dividends from our strategic decision to invest in the kind of innovation which generates value for our customers, is paying off.”