Boeing Clinches Dreamliner Deal In China

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Boeing won an advantage this week in its perennial battle with Airbus, with an announcement that four Chinese airlines have ordered 42 of its new 787 Dreamliner jets, with a list price of about $5 billion. Airbus is trying to capture the airliner market with its superjumbo A380, which is already plagued with development delays, as Boeing maneuvers to compete with its midsize, fuel-efficient 787. The fast-growing Asian market is a central battleground for the two companies. Currently the World Trade Organization is arbitrating a dispute between the United States and the European Union over state aid, which the U.S. says gives Airbus an unfair advantage in the marketplace. The EU has countered that that local and state governments give plenty of subsidies and other assistance to Boeing companies. Meanwhile, Airbus has already told its customers that it will be late on delivering its first A380s. First delivery has been pushed back from March 2006 to November 2006.