Airbus orders plunged by more than half in the first six months of the year as confusion over its product range robbed the company of wide-body sales throughout the second quarter, new figures showed on Monday.

The European planemaker said it had sold 117 aircraft between January and June, down from 276 in the same period last year.

Deliveries, however, rose to 219 planes from 189.

Airbus has been lagging behind rival Boeing for some months as airlines wait for a re-launch of the long-range twinjet A350, which has been heavily outsold by the Boeing 787.

Airbus hopes to launch a new version of the A350 that also addresses slow sales of the four-engine A340 before next week's Farnborough Air Show.

It has not sold any of its wide-body aircraft - the A330/340/350 family nor the twice-delayed A380 superjumbo - since March, according to Airbus figures.

Airbus has sold a total of 96 single-aisle planes so far this year.

Boeing posted 480 net orders so far this year as of July 5.

In the first half of 2005 it sold 441 aircraft and delivered 155.