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Jet

Boeing secures $37bn orders at air show

Farnborough, July 13, 2012

The US planemaker Boeing yesterday said it had secured firm orders and commitments for its commercial planes totalling more than $37 billion, trumping European rival Airbus.

It said over the past week, customers had announced orders and commitments for 396 planes, including a $14.7 billion order by United Airlines, the world's largest carrier, according to a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.

Airbus secured deals worth around $17 billion at the Farnborough Airshow.

United Continental Holdings, which owns United Airlines will buy 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft valued at $9 billion at list price and 50 737-900ER planes.

It said it will begin taking delivery of the 737 MAX 9 planes in 2018. The 100 MAX aircraft order will allow the airline to replace older, less-efficient aircraft to reduce fuel and operating costs, the company said.

Boeing said the combined order will allow it to exceed 10,000 aircraft overall for the 737 family. The 737 MAX is a new-engine variant of Boeing's Next-Generation 737.

United Continental said the 737-900ER models will replace older, less-efficient Boeing 757-200 aircraft flown domestically. The new models are expected to burn up to 15 per cent less fuel per seat than the aircraft they replace.

The order for 50 737s, to be delivered from late 2013, reflects efforts by Airbus and Boeing to maintain production of their products and ensure a smooth transition to newer models from 2017.

Boeing's 737 Max narrowbody is its answer to Airbus's short-haul A320neo, which stole the show in terms of orders in 2011. Earlier, Boeing announced an order with Avolon, bringing to almost 200 737 Max aircraft sold in firm or provisional deals, at the show.

Airbus confirmed it had set a target of selling 300 standard A320s this year and sales chief John Leahy said it was on course to meet it.

Although most publicity has been on revamps of popular models such as the A320neo and 737 Max, the manufacturers need to sell a lot of the existing models to keep production plans intact and ensure a smooth transition.

The show has thrown up concerns over further delays to the Airbus A350 programme, after the company admitted it was encountering assembly problems, specifically in drilling holes in the wing to fasten the skins to the structure.




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