PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus <AIR.PA> sold 83 aircraft in May, but remained behind rival Boeing <BA.N> in the race for orders after a slow start to the year, figures released on Tuesday showed.
Airbus lost ground in volume terms but fractionally narrowed the gap in terms of market share by grabbing 38 percent of net orders in the first five months of the year.
New business included 60 new-generation narrow-body jets to at least one customer whose name was not disclosed, bringing the total number of aircraft ordered so far this year to 200.
After adjusting for cancellations, which included two A350-900s ditched by leasing firm Awas in May, net orders for the first five months stood at 162 jets, Airbus said.
Boeing remained ahead on orders, with 298 bookings or 268 after cancellations, and also held its lead in deliveries as Airbus handed over 234 jets between January and May.
Comparable figures for Boeing were not available but the U.S. planemaker had reported 230 deliveries between January and April, making it certain that it remained on top in May.
Airbus's deliveries so far this year include 9 of its new A350 jets and 7 revamped A320neo aircraft.
The company said last week it was confident of meeting full-year targets despite a slow performance for both models in early 2016.
Airbus targets more than 650 deliveries this year including more than 50 A350s.
(This version of the story has been corrected to amend "narrowing Boeing's lead" in headline and the first paragraph to "remained behind Boeing," and adds new second para, making plain that Airbus lost ground in volume while making fractional gains in market share.)
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, editing by Louise Heavens and Adrian Croft)