Boeing Sets Record

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Lest there be any doubt about which is the largest commercial planemaker in the world, Boeing need only point to its year-end results. The Chicago-based company recorded almost double the number of solid orders of rival Airbus to soar back to the top in terms of both popularity and production in 2006. Boeing took in 1,044 orders (and also turned some away) compared to Airbusís approximately 650 (final figures wonít be released until next week). In fact, Boeing got more orders (729) for its ubiquitous 737 series than Airbus attracted for its full line of aircraft. Boeing now has a production backlog of about five years and delivered 398 planes in 2006. Delays in Airbus's A380 program dominated the news about the company in 2006, but it did achieve certification for the super-sized airliner late in the year and a reorganized executive suite at the company is promising to meet the current deadlines. Although Airbus had a comparatively tough year, the forecast for commercial airliner business in general is bright, particularly in the rapidly expanding markets in Asia.