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Tue, Mar 13, 2007

Monday Was A Good Day For Boeing

$4.5 Billion In Sales From Kuwait, Russia, And US

Boeing continues writing new airliner orders at an astonishing pace. On Monday alone, the company announced $4.5 billion in new sales.

In addition to an 18-plane deal from Kuwait's Aviation Lease and Finance Company, on Monday Continental Airlines ordered five 787s, worth about $900 million, increasing its orders for the new plane to 25. It also upgraded 12 existing orders for the 787-8 to -9's, a larger variant with 40 additional seats. It's the first order for the larger Dreamliner variant from a US carrier.

Russian air freight company Volga-Dnepr also reportedly signed a deal worth $1.4 billion dollars for five new 747-8 Freighters, with an option for five more. The company's president told Reuters it is the biggest deal in Russian civil aviation history.

Boeing is benefitting from a weak US dollar -- which makes its planes cheaper for the rest of the world to buy -- and from delays in deliveries of competing products from Airbus. The company now has an order backlog of over 1,500 aircraft.

Boeing has resisted increasing production, but was reported last week to be discussing increased 787 production with suppliers.

Since then, American Airlines has hinted it may want as many as 300 new 737's. At a time when a shutdown of C-17 production for the military threatens to idle 7,000 Boeing workers... perhaps stepping up civilian airliner output will get another look.

For all its current woes, 2007 isn't shaping up too badly for Airbus so far, either. In fact, as of the end of February, the European planemaker had 97 orders on the books -- 33 more than Boeing.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.airbus.com

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