Airbus Takes Dubai: Boeing Claims China

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The numbers game that seems to take over the big commercial air shows again dominated Dubai's extravaganza this week. Assuming those numbers are solid, you couldn't really call anyone a loser as Boeing and Airbus total up the billions in orders they claim to have sealed at the show. Airbus says it took 82 orders in Dubai and Boeing is saying it sold 68, but that's in addition to the 70 orders it took out of China during the same week. The totals? $17 billion for Boeing and about $10 billion for Airbus. Not a bad business week. According to a tally by Bloomberg News, Boeing has taken 659 orders so far this year and Airbus 494. Airbus has led the orders race in recent years. Now, fuel prices are driving a new airliner boom. Airlines are anxious to retire their kerosene guzzlers for more efficient new aircraft and that plays right into Boeing's strategy behind its first new design in 15 years, the 787 Dreamliner. "I'm confident the 787 is a game-changing airplane," said John Plueger, CEO of International Lease, which ordered 20 Dreamliners. Airbus is launching the A350 series in direct competition with the 787 but it will be two years behind the Boeing's 2008 entry to service. Boeing is the U.S.'s largest exporter and when production was curtailed in September because of a machinists' strike, much of the drop in U.S. exports for the month was attributed to the strike.