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Boeing Order Book Swings To Positive Territory On New 787 Deal

Gulf Air Exercises Eight Options

Finally... some good news for American planemaker Boeing. After watching 2009 get off to an inauspicious start, thanks to 32 cancellations against its troubled 787 Dreamliner program, this week Boeing saw its order book swing into positive territory for the first time in 2009.

The Seattle Times reports Bahrain-based Gulf Air exercised eight options for the midsized 787-8 variant of the composite-bodied airliner, due to make its first flight later this quarter. As ANN reported, Gulf Air placed its original order for 16 787s in January 2008.

As of April 16, Boeing's order net book stands at a whopping +4 airplanes for the year... but it could be worse.

After hitting a low of -13 orders in early February -- thanks to those aforementioned 787 cancellations, courtesy of Russia's S7 Airlines and Dubai-based leasing startup LCAL -- Boeing's order book has gradually crept towards positive territory, fueled largely by orders for its still-popular 737 narrowbody and mammoth 777.

It's unclear how long Boeing will be able to point to a positive order book, however, as many expect the slumping economy will take its toll on aircraft deliveries for some time to come.

Last week, Boeing said it would curb production of all widebody aircraft types in 2010, thanks to order deferrals and cancellations; many analysts also expect similar news for the 737 line at some point this year.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.gulfair.com

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