Airbus has dropped behind US rival Boeing in the race for new airplane deals in the first quarter after a pair of wide-body order cancellations, while Boeing finalised a major Canadian sale, Reuters has reported. The European planemaker said it had won new 40 orders in March, led by a diplomatic deal that saw China unblock 27 orders for A330 jets during a state visit to Europe by President Xi Jinping. However, it suffered two order cancellations, including 12 A350-800 aircraft from a company linked to struggling Italian airline Alitalia and five A330s from Philippines Airlines, ending the quarter with 158 new orders, or 103 net orders after adjusting for cancellations. Boeing said on Thursday it had won 275 gross orders or 234 net orders in the first quarter. Cancellations for both planemakers ran at about the same level during the quarter.