Boeing Books $4.6-Billion Order for 60 New Jets

Rival Airbus on target to win annual contest, again

Boeing Co. this week entered into a $4.6-billion contract with a new leasing company Air Lease Corp., to deliver 60 of its “next generation” 737-800 commercial jets through 2017. Air Lease chairman and CEO Steven F. Udvar-Hazy stated that with the "large and long-term commitment we'll be able to offer our clients a most economical, fuel-efficient and versatile airplane, suitable for a variety of profitable missions."

The Next-Generation 737 is one of the world's best-selling airliners, according to Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh. "Airlines and lessors remain confident in the airplane's ability to deliver outstanding, dependable operational and financial performance across the widest range of missions," he said.

Meanwhile, European rival Airbus SAS reported that its net orders this year (new orders, less cancellations) now stand at 328 jets, while Boeing has 288 net orders for 2010. The global recession has forced both manufacturers to accept cancellations of previous orders, but Boeing has been harder than Airbus. It lost 14 orders for 737s, 27 orders for 777s, and 32 for 787s. Airbus has seen seven cancellations for A350-900s, six for A330s, and 36 for A320s.

The delivery delays for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner have made the contest even more difficult for the Chicago-based aircraft builder, and the first deliveries for that product have been pushed to 2011.

Airbus expects to deliver 500 new jets in 2010, while Boeing has said it expects to deliver about 465 planes this year.

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