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Sat, Sep 23, 2006

Boeing Adds 47 More To The Books

Enjoys Continued Success Against Rival Airbus

Forty-seven more orders for Boeing jets posted on the company's website Thursday, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Total orders for the year stand at 632 for Boeing -- that includes six cancellations. Airbus reported 222 as of the end of August.

Last year Airbus bested Boeing by 53 in the orders race. With only three months left this year, it appears unlikely Airbus will make up a 400 order deficit to come from behind.

Despite lagging the order race, Airbus will retain its title of the "world's biggest airplane maker" until 2008. That's when Boeing plans the first deliveries on orders for the 787 Dreamliner, currently under development.

Boeing said of the 47 new orders, 16 are for its new 787, with the rest 737 series aircraft. That makes 102 total 787 orders for the year and 477 for the 737.

The 737 series remains Boeing's best-selling airframe. Boeing declined to identify the customers making Thursday's orders, at their request.

As recently as 2005, Airbus' single-aisle A320 outsold Boeing's 737 nearly 2 to 1. It's not clear why the turnaround this year, unless customers are jittery from all the shakeups at Airbus' parent company EADS and the recent firings of Airbus senior management -- these a result of delays in the A380 program.

Airbus is not entirely dead yet, it did get an order for 35 short-haul planes from Lufthansa earlier this week. But, Lufthansa has made it clear its looking at all options for its future long-haul requirements, including Boeing's 787 and 747-8.

Airbus' trials and tribulations appear to be far from over with a recent announcement of another delay in the A380 program. Boeing seems willing to take any advantage they can while Airbus flounders.

They are probably more aware than anyone how fast things can change a cyclical business like airplane making.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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