Boeing challenges Airbus all-time sales record - and Airbus nearly at record order levels again


Both aircraft manufacturers are aiming to exceed their record

order lists before the year is over. For the third year in a row, Boeing has

achieved its all time record sales, yesterday reporting it has received 1,047

net orders for commercial aircraft so far in 2007, exceeding its 2006 total

of 1,044 orders. In turn, that exceeded 2005's previous record of 1,002.

Boeing orders this year include 580 B737s and 290 B787 Dreamliners. The pre-launch sales for the B787 are the highest ever for a new type, at 736, to date; this number is sure to increase before the aircraft flies. Although delayed, the B787 should make its appearance commercially in early 2009.

Meanwhile Airbus has this year received orders for 1,021 aircraft, with 16 A380s, and, following Emirates' order for of the new long haul A35XWB, Airbus hopes to exceed 300 orders for the smaller twinjet this year. The European manufacturer too is within shouting distance of its 2005 order record of 1,055 (in 2006, it lagged Boeing, booking a lower 790 units).

In 2005, Airbus' 1,055 orders combined with Boeing's 1,002 to make a previous record combined total for the major manufacturers, of 2,057 firm orders. This fell to a joint 1,834 in 2006. But with this year's tally already at 2,068, the record may well be set for many years to come.

It won't be until there is larger airline market base that a sequence of sales years like the last three years may be achieved, probably well into the middle of next decade. Airbus and Boeing now have undelivered order books higher than at any time in history.

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